Vikings earn road victory over Wolves
In the top of the 5th inning, Junior Viking Graycen Partlow managed to reach 3rd base on a fielding error by the IKM-Manning Wolves, allowing Partlow to score on the next play, making it 4-1 Vikings en route to an eventual 5-3 victory.
For the Vikings, it was their second victory in their previous nine games.
“I don’t care what the score is,” said Vikings Head Coach Trevor Gipple. “It’s just a good ‘W’ and a good feeling again.”
Halle Goodman started the night in the circle for the Vikings going up against IKM-Manning Junior Ella Richards.
Richards pitched two scoreless innings and got some run support in the bottom of the 1st inning when the Vikings made a throwing error, which allowed Wolves Sophomore Taylor Beckendorf to reach second base giving the Wolves an early 1-0 lead.
“Ella threw really well tonight and I thought our defense backed her up really well,” said Wolves Head Coach Joy Gross. “We made some plays look easy that were pretty tough.”
The Vikings got on the board in the top of the 3rd inning when Sophomore Loralei Wahling connected for an RBI double tying the game at 1.
In the top of the 4th inning, the Vikings got their first lead when Goodman dropped down a bunt and Riley Knop went from first to third base. The next batter. Braxton Gipple, knocked Knop in on an RBI groundout, putting them up 2-1.
“I got to second and I looked over at Trevor and he said come because there was nobody covering third, so I knew I was going to get there,” Knop said.
The Vikings managed to add another run when Bryanna Wood stepped to the plate, drove a ball into the gap and was thrown trying to stretch a double into a triple, but the run scored before the out was commited giving the Vikings a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, the Wolves were threatening to score when they had runners on first and second base with one out trailing by three runs. They loaded the bases and Alexis Gruhn connected for a base hit, driving in two runs and cutting the lead to 4-3.
“Alexis, has really come around here the second half,” Gross said. “I actually DH’d for her part of the season and she’s really come around and when she puts the bat on the ball, she has a lot of power, so anytime she steps up to the plate, you could have runs instantly with her. We like it when we see her up.”
Following the hit by Gruhn, Goodman was able to find her way out of the inning with the Vikings holding on to a 1-run lead.
“We knew she [Goodman] just needed to keep throwing strikes,” Knop said. “Everyone needed to reset and get the next play.”
The Vikings got one more insurance run in the top of the 7th inning when Partlow stepped to the plate, knocked in Bella Lamp from second base after she got on with a double.
“Kudos to Bella for driving that ball into the gap and getting something going right away,” Gipple said. “Graycen then hitting the ball hard, misplayed by the shortstop and with Bella’s speed and Graycen’s speed, they just traded spots there and it was pretty cool.”
For the Vikings, they played Saturday against the Nodaway Valley Wolverines and lost 12-9, but will take on the 23-5 West Monona Spartans on the road Monday.
The Spartans are led by Kacy Miller with 40 hits, 35 runs batted in and a batting average of .435. In the circle, Carly Miller has 12 wins with 69 strikeouts and a 1.63 earned run average.
The Wolves played two games Saturday in a tournament against the Essex Trojans winning 12-6 and MVAOCOU winning 8-6 for their third and fourth wins of the season. They return home Monday night to battle the 2-14 South Central Calhoun Titans.
The Titans are led by Keira Hammen with 17 hits and 15 runs batted in, batting .459. In the circle, Onna Haupert leads the team with two wins, 41 strikeouts and an 8.68 earned run average.