It wasn’t their best display of offense by any means, but two of Evergreen’s six hits left the ballpark, and paced the Vikings to a 6-1 win over Montpelier in a first round game of the Division III softball sectional Monday.
The Vikings now play second-seeded Archbold in a sectional final this afternoon.
The Blue Streaks claimed a 3-2 win in the NWOAL meeting earlier in the season.
Evergreen jumped out to a fast 4-0 lead in the first inning against the Locomotives.
Myra Kuszmaul reached on an error and Andrea Smithmyer followed with a base hit to center with one out.
With two down, Kennedy Keller struck out, but when the pitch got away, Keller hustled her way to first and when the throw to get a third out went awry, a run scored giving the Vikes a 1-0 lead.
Breanna Huffman then multiplied that when she blasted a no doubt three-run jack to center.
“Overall we didn’t hit the ball well today after being off for nine days due to the weather,” Viking coach Andy Langenderfer explained.
“The big play in the first was when Kennedy sprinted to first after the dropped third. Not only did that allow a run to score but it set up Breanna to do additional damage.”
That score stayed the same until the bottom of the fourth when with one out, Zoe VanOstrand hit a laser beam that took a millisecond to go over the left field fence to boost the Vikings’ lead to 5-0.
Montpelier scored an unearned run off Viking starter Courtney Couts in the fifth, but the Viking pitcher got that run back in the bottom half of the inning when after an error, her line drive howitzer shot off the top of the left field fence scored Kelsie Komisarek to again put Evergreen up five.
Outside of that unearned run, Couts was almost untouchable as the Viking senior gave up just two hits.
“Courtney did a great job of throwing strikes and getting ahead in counts,” Langenderfer said. “We talk a lot about the importance of getting ahead of hitters and she did a great job of executing our game plan.”
Couts struck out six and walked two in a very neat and tidy one hour and fourteen minute contest.
The victory increased the Vikings’ record to 13-8 overall.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org