Softball starts season with Las Vegas tournament
A weekend of ups and downs for the Vikings softball team ended on a high note as the team finished 3-2, including two wins over ranked foes in the Desert Stinger Tournament in Las Vegas.
The Vikings kicked things off on Friday with a win over Colorado Mesa University and a win over 20th ranked Augustana University.
“We had good momentum coming in,” senior Emma Blauser said. “Our energy was nuts, we were ready to start playing.”
Senior Alexie Levin led the offensive assault with a pair of doubles and an RBI as the Vikings notched five hits in the first inning alone. Five additional Vikings lent both a hit and RBI as pitcher Makinlee Sellevold silenced the Colorado Mesa hitters.
The second victory over a ranked Augustana team required a comeback in the later innings. Levin tied the game on a single in the fifth inning and Emily Benson followed that up by belting a two-run home run to give the Vikings the lead for good.
Benson and Blauser both notched two hits in the 7-4 win and Shearyna Labasan recorded her first ever college win, pitching over four innings of scoreless ball out of the bullpen.
Saturday met the Vikings with a bit of a skid as the team couldn’t match its offensive production from the day before.
“We had the same momentum coming in the second day [as day one], we just fell a little bit short,” Blauser said.
In game one, Sellevold gave up a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. That was enough for 19th ranked Sonoma State University as the Viking offense could only muster one run. Levin drove in the lone run as the Vikings combined for seven hits.
The next game wasn’t much more fertile for the Viking offense as they were bested 8-2 by California State University, San Bernadino. Blauser had two of the five hits for the Vikings, including a solo home run. Blauser also scored both runs for the Vikings. Kali Patterson recorded a hit and the RBI that knocked Blauser in.
Sunday entailed just one game, which the Vikings won 7-4 in another come from behind win. Blauser connected for another solo home run in the fifth inning of that game to start the scoring, followed by a three-run shot from Emily Benson to tie up the game at four. Patterson scored the go-ahead run in the sixth, and Levin added a two-run triple for good measure to complete the comeback.
“We really wanted to end with a win,” Blauser said. “Our bats just started to come alive and we started making adjustments at the plate as a team.”
Following the results in Las Vegas, Blauser and the team continue to stay optimistic and hungry for the quickly approaching regular season.
“It’s a huge milestone for us to start the year off with such a great weekend,” Blauser said. “We got a lot of good feedback from our wins and our losses.”
Next up for the softball team will do more traveling, this time to St. George, Utah for the Dixie State Tournament. In the tournament, the Vikings will again be playing five games over the span of three days. First pitch in the tournament for the Vikings will be Friday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. Mountain time.