May 10, 2012 at 8:23 a.m.

Vikes lose out to top team in conference

Vikes lose out to top team in conference
Vikes lose out to top team in conference

Benilde-St. Margaret’s 8, North Branch 1 In a battle of two of the top teams in the North Suburban Conference, the private school prevailed over the public school as the Red Knights downed the Vikings’ softball squad 8-1.

North Branch opened the scoring in the top of the second inning when Syd Meuller knocked out a single. She advanced to second on a fielders choice and scored when Kallie Grote poked a single to the outfield. The Red Knights tied the game in the bottom of the second inning on the power of three singles. Senior Jeni Huth was able to stem to tide though and get out of the inning with the game knotted at one. The game remain tied until the fourth inning when Benilde scored four times on a bases loaded single and double following that. After that, the flood gates opened and BSM added one more in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Huth took the loss, going five innings and giving up six runs on 11 hits. Erin Kvam pitched the sixth in relief. Alley Carlson also collected two hits for North Branch and Hannah Hubbard had a base knock.

“It was a tough loss considering we shared the lead in the NSC lead with Benilde coming in,” Head Coach Ron Trunk said. “We were not able to get much going at the plate today.” Sauk Rapids-Rice Tournament Rogers 3, North Branch 2 North Branch went out of conference to take on some tough teams at the Sauk Rapids-Rice Tournament last weekend. They opened the tourney with a game against future Mississippi 8 Conference foe Rogers. The Royals, who were 5-7 going into the tourney, opened the scoring in the top of the first with a single run. In the third inning, North Branch’s Emily Trunk led off the inning with a double. She came around to score when Alley Carlson followed that with a single. Both pitchers cruised besides those two runs until the fifth inning. A sudden case of wildness struck Trunk and she just couldn’t get outs.

She walked four batters in the inning and hit another. The inning could’ve been worse with that many free baserunners, but Trunk worked her way out of it without allowing a hit, just the two runs that came home on walks. North Branch trimmed the lead to one when Mikayla Carlson reached on a one-out single. She advanced to second when Rogers’ leftfielder committed an error trying to field the ball. Sister Alley Carlson drove Mikayla home with a single to right field to collect her second RBI of the game. In the sixth inning, North Branch started a rally when Hubbard reached on an error and Meuller followed with a base hit with zero outs. However, the rally quickly fizzled with two ground balls and an infield pop up.

Trunk started the game, going four innings and giving up all three runs on two hits and five walks. Kvam pitched the last three innings, giving up only two hits and striking out one. Despite doubling Rogers’ four hits -- two each from the Carlson sisters and Chelsey Emery-Snaza, and one from Trunk and Mueller -- North Branch just couldn’t get enough hits with runners in scoring position and didn’t draw the walks that Rogers was able to. North Branch 15, Virginia 4 In the second game of the Sauk Rapids Rice, North Branch put any drama to rest within one inning. After forcing a one-two-three in the top of the first inning, North Branch’s first eight batters reached and all eight of them scored in the bottom of the first. Two of them were on hits, two were on walks and the Blue Devils committed an astounding five errors in the opening frame. Virginia scored one in the second, but North Branch just continued to pile it on on offense, adding three more runs to their total on single by Meuller and Kvam and a double by Hubbard.

They were also aided by another Virginia error. The Blue Devils added one more in the third, but North Branch added their final four runs in the bottom of the frame. Emery-Snaza, Hubbard and Kaylee Lofboom all got hits while the bungling Blue Devils committed two more errors. Virginia added two more runs in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the mercy rule as the Vikings were up 15-4 at the end of five. Kvam pitched all five innings for North Branch, earning the wing. She gave up four runs -- three of them earned -- on 10 hits. North Branch had their 15 runs on 13 hits and eight errors on Virginia. The third round game against St. Cloud Tech was cancelled due to rain on late Saturday. “It was nice to finish on a high note after the tough opening loss to Rogers,” Coach Trunk said. “On the day we hit the ball well, especially against a tough Rogers pitcher and again our defense continued to play with well only one error in two games. It is the area of most improvement from the last few seasons.”


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