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home : sports : sports July 22, 2017

5/11/2017 4:46:00 PM
North Branch has won six of their past seven games

The North Branch softball team kept their recent hot streak rolling at the Sauk Rapids Rice Invite over the weekend.

They mercy-ruled their first two opponents, Duluth Marshall and Watertown-Mayer, before beating Thief River Falls 8-2 in the championship game.

Against Marshall, the Viking offense cranked out 11 hits, highlighted by two from Katelyn Berg, Cassandra Sinn and Sophie Smith. Jillayna Hoppe had the biggest hit of the game, a bases loaded triple that got her three RBIs. She would later come home to score.

Smith and Amber Yoch both added two RBIs and Sam Pederson added another.

Kristi Pilz, a freshman, picked up the win for North Branch, going six innings and striking out 10 while only giving up three hits and one walk.

In their second game of the day, the Vikings jumped all over Watertown Mayer, scoring crooked numbers in the first three innings to take a 12-1 lead. Nearly everyone got in on the action offensively. Elizabeth Gladitsch, Smith, Sinn, Yoch, Berg, Hoppe and Pederson all had RBIs. Berg had three RBIs and three runs, and Hoppe and Pederson both had two RBIs and two runs.

The Vikings were also aided by six free passes and three Royal errors. North Branch only had seven hits to get their 13 runs.

Pederson, a junior got the win from the bump for the Vikings, going five innings and allowing five hits but only one earned run. She struck out six Royal batters on the day.

In their third game of the day, the Vikings took on Thief River Falls, who had beaten Foley and the host school to advance. Coming into the game, the Prowlers were 11-3 on the season and provide a good measuring stick for the Lady Vikes.

North Branch again got on the board early, and it was Sinn doing the damage again. She hit a two run homer in the opening frame that paced the Vikings to a 4-0 lead.

And that was all Pederson needed for the Vikings. She allowed only one earned run during the game, and the offense more than made that early lead stand up.
Sinn knocked in two more RBIs with a double later in the game, Pilz and Yoch also added single RBIs to give NB their 8-2 win.

Sinn was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, going three-for-three with a homer, double and single. Nobody else had more than one hit for NB.
Pederson's stat line read a complete game, four hits, one earned run, one walk and six strikeouts when all was said and done.

The tournament win means the Vikings have won six of their past seven games to move to 10-5, including a 5-4 mark in the Mississippi 8 Conference. The Vikes played an ultra-tough Buffalo squad earlier this week and will face St. Francis and Cloquet on Thursday, May 11 and Friday, May 12. It will be three games in three nights, and their sixth contest in six days.

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