Lady Vikings end conference play with a bang
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
by Marlys Kruger
After wrapping up play in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference with a 17-7 thumping of the Elmwood-Plum City Wolves at home May 15, the Colfax softball team picked up a non-conference home game against a very good Fall Creek team a day later and fell 15-1 to the Crickets. Finishing up the regular season two days later, the Vikings traveled to Shell Lake and lost 8-5.
Colfax ended their regular season with a 9-5 conference record, good for third place and were 11-7 overall.
The Vikings earned a number two seed in the WIAA Division 4 regional tournament and drew a bye in the first round of play. They hosted number 10 seed Eau Claire Regis Tuesday, May 23 (yesterday) after Regis defeated number seven seed Spring Valley in the first round. The winner moves on to play the victor of the Augusta (#3) vs. Cadott (#6) game in Thursday’s regional championship.
After sliding by the Wolves 10-9 back in April, this game had the makings of another close contest. E-PC scored three runs in the top of the first which included a home run, but the Vikings came back with two runs in their half of the inning.
The Wolves added two more in the second stanza and Colfax came up with a pair of runs in the third inning when Jada Anderson blasted a triple, Brynn Sikora smacked a shot to the fence for a double, Hannah Peterson reached on an infield hit and a fly ball from Audrey Ebert resulted in a tag up to cut the Wolves lead to 5-4.
E-PC tacked on another run in the fourth but it could have been worse for Colfax when they had bases loaded with one out, Colfax hurler Mallory Field forced a pop up and a ground ball out to shortstop Anderson to end the rally.
The Viking bats began to wake up as they knotted the game in the bottom of the inning. Sierra Shipman beat out a slow roller to the shortstop, McKenna Shipman added a solid single and Ella Peterson drew a walk to load the bases. Anderson and Sikora both nailed solid fly balls to the outfield for outs but Sikora’s fly brought in a run on another tag up. Hannah Peterson showed why she is also a sprinter for the track team by beating out a grounder to the pitcher and McKenna Shipman appeared to be getting ready for summer and “Slip and Slide” time as she scored with a head-first slide into home plate.
The Wolves regained the lead with a run in the fifth with just one hit as the Vikings had a couple of infield errors. But once again they got out of the inning without further damage on two pop ups and a ground ball to Anderson.
The Vikings took advantage of a couple of E-PC errors to get things rolling in the bottom of the fifth. A pop up off the bat of Alexis Schindler went straight up in the air between the pitcher and catcher and it seemed to freeze them both, allowing Schindler to reach first. Sierra Shipman dropped a ball over first base, McKenna Shipman laid down a bunt and a throwing error, Ella Peterson slammed a shot past third for a double, and after stealing third, scored on a passed ball and the inning ended with the Vikings up 10-7.
Field shut the Wolves down in the top of the sixth and the Viking bats broke loose in their half of the inning. Ebert sent a short fly ball over second for a hit, Emma Medin knocked a shot to the fence for a double, Sierra Shipman drew a walk to fill the bases, McKenna Shipman and Ella Peterson both took free passes, Anderson beat the throw to first on a grounder to the shortstop, a wild pitch and a Sikora double brought in more runs and a dropped pop up kept the inning going. Ebert came up with a huge slam to the fence to bring in the seventh run, ending the game by the 10-run rule.
Shipman, Anderson and Sikora all posted three hits for the game with Sikora’s all doubles. Anderson and Sikora both collected three RBIs and McKenna Shipman came home four times and Anderson and Sierra Shipman both scored three times. Field gave up five hits with two strikeouts and four walks for the win.
Viking head coach John Dickinsen had a chance to pick up an extra game for his team to get ready for regional play and he jumped at it. The state-ranked Crickets were the Cloverbelt West champions and had an overall record of 21-1 when they found their way to the Colfax field.
Fall Creek scored early and often, starting with three runs in the top of the first inning, adding three in the third and broke things open with seven in the fourth.
Colfax picked up their only run in their half of the fourth when Medin doubled and came home on a Cricket error.
Fall Creek scored two more in the fifth and the Vikings went down in order in the bottom of the inning to end the contest.
The Crickets out hit the Vikings 9-4 with Anderson, Ella Peterson and Sikora all smacking a single while Medin had a double. Field hurled all five innings to take the loss.
The Lakers are another state-ranked team but the Lady Vikings gave them all they could handle before giving up a lead in the fifth inning.
Shell Lake scored twice in the bottom of the first but Colfax came up with a big inning in the top of the second. Hannah Peterson and Ebert both singled, Medin reached on a fielder’s choice and a Laker error, Schindler blasted a double, Shipman banged a single, Anderson drew a walk and Sikora slammed her own double and just like that the Vikings were up 5-2.
Shell Lake picked up a run in the third and with the Vikings unable to score any runs the rest of the way, the Lakers went ahead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and added two insurance runs in the sixth.
The Vikings had runners on base three of the last four innings but couldn’t come up with the clutch hit to add runs.
Schindler pitched all seven innings, giving Field a break, allowing seven hits with four Ks and three free passes. Sikora had a pair of hits with a double while Ella Peterson and Schindler both had a double.