Vikings shut down Wolves at home
The AHSTW varsity softball team returned home Thursday night to play the IKM-Manning Wolves and snapped a 3-game losing streak, winning in grand fashion, 13-1.
“We definitely needed a W,” said Vikings Head Coach Trevor Gipple. “The kids bunted well and they executed what I asked them to do.”
The Wolves were coming off a 10-5 win against the Ar-We-Va Rockets at home Wednesday. They couldn’t get a second consecutive win with Sophomore Viking Sienna Christian being too much for them.
Christian pitched three innings for the Vikings, striking out five batters, allowing one run on zero hits.
“She continues to work and take lessons every single week,” Gipple said. “She’s getting better and better. I was just proud of her. She threw quite a bit for us last time, came back and wanted the ball today.”
Wolves Junior Ella Richards started the night in the circle going 2.1 innings, striking out one, but gave up four runs in the bottom of the 1st inning.
“I thought she did an all right job,” said Wolves Head Coach Joy Gross. “I didn’t think she had her best stuff, but when you’re throwing the lion’s share of the innings, once you get later in the week, it takes a toll on you.”
Wolves Freshman Anna Stangl drew a walk to open the game, stole 2nd and 3rd base and scored after that.
“I loved that,” Gross said. “Anna runs the bases really well and we got a great bunt out of Ella [Richards], and that’s ultimately the goal of any first inning is to get that zero off the scoreboard, so I was really proud of the way that we got out there.”
The Wolves did not score for the remainder of the game, and from the bottom of the 1st inning on the Vikings bats continued to stay hot with four runs in the 1st inning and nine more in the bottom of the 4th.
Several Vikings had multi-hits game including Christian, Rylie Knop, Braxton Gipple and Halle Goodman. Graycen Partlow and Bryanna Wood had a hit each.
“We spend a lot of time in the offseason hitting,” Gipple said. “We’re very disciplined hitters. We know our zone and we’re always looking for something to drive in those 2-0 and 2-1 counts, and I’m just proud of the way they worked.”
For the Wolves, their next game is Friday against the 3-13 Underwood Eagles. The Eagles are coming off a 19-9 win at home against the Harlan Community Cyclones. The Eagles are led by Claire Cook with 25 hits batting .556. In pitching, Grace Pierce has one win, and Alissa Fischer has 11 strikeouts.
“I anticipate our pitching and defense will be better,” Gross said. “I’m really anticipating neither team in double digits, but they’re super fast, so we still have to be on our toes because they hit a lot of balls in the dirt.”
The Vikings will take on 7-3 Audubon Wheelers Friday night before returning home Saturday afternoon to battle St. Albert at home. The Wheelers are coming off two strong wins where they outscored both their opponents 19-0. They are led by Jordan with 15 hits and Kali Irlmeier with 12 runs batted in. In pitching, Alexis Obermeier has six wins with 86 strikeouts and a 1.46 earned run average.
“Audubon is having a really good year,” Gipple said. “Alexis and Kali on the mound are tough. The key to victory tomorrow is having disciplined at bats, being about to put up more than three runs, which wasn’t enough last time. We also have to have fundamental defense and make plays behind our pitchers.”