|4/14/2022 12:54:00 PM|
Stars shine for Vikings as they clobber Saints in season opener
by JEFF NORTONNorth Branch invoked the mercy rule in their first game of the year, and Head Coach Kathy Crudo hopes it’s a preview of what’s to come for the Vikes’ softball squad.
Maddie Helin, Erin Pederson, Peyton Verdon and Hannah Bernier all had big days at the plate and Bernier dominated from the pitchers’ mound as North Branch beat St. Francis 13-2 in a five inning mercy rule game Monday at the Saints’ softball complex.
The Lady Vikes opened the scoring with a very crooked number in the top of the second inning, batting around the order and putting eight runs across the plate.
St. Francis was only able to muster one run to answer, and NB quickly piled on four more in the third inning.
North Branch added one more in the fifth after St. Francis had tacked one on in the fourth inning. The game ended when Bernier shut down the Saints in the bottom of the fifth.
The offensive outbursts featured nearly the whole lineup. Helin went 2-for-2 with a double, two walks, three runs and a stolen base. Pederson went 2-for-4, belting in three runs and scoring one. Verdon and Bernier combined to go 3-for-6 with a walk, two runs and three RBIs.
From the mound, Bernier pitched five phenomenal innings. She allowed only two hits and three walks while striking out 12. Two runs allowed were unearned and she did a great job keeping St. Francis off balance and uncomfortable at the plate.
North Branch had two more games scheduled this week, but they are staring at some rainouts. Their next chance to take the diamond may be Tuesday, April 19 against county rival Chisago Lakes at CL at 5 p.m.