After letting one get away in a one-run loss the previous day to Toledo Start, Evergreen softball opened up the whole arsenal of firepower, pounding North Central 19-2 and 15-3 in a Saturday doubleheader to even their early season record at 2-2.
“Getting those first two wins was huge for the girls,” stated Evergreen coach DJ Schuster. “After a couple of tough losses, to be able to shake it off, come back and play good was huge.”
The day before a combination of misplayed fly balls and mishandled throws allowed Start to stay in the game and take a late-inning lead to defeat the Vikings, 11-10. However, the fireworks display at the plate left no doubt against the Eagles.
Marissa VanDenk’s single and Macy Chamberlin’s rifle shot over the center field fence gave the Vikings a first-inning lead and after the Eagles knotted the score in the top of the second, Evergreen erupted for 10 second inning runs.
Riley Lumbrezer and Skylee Raker each singled and a pair of North Central errors pushed Evergreen up 4-2.
Chamberlin added two more, lacing a triple to right.
Yet another Eagle error and Jocelyn Schuster’s double plated three more Viking runs to make it 9-2 and Kennedy Keller added three more with a bases-loaded triple to right.
Schuster and Brooklyn Richardson each rapped two-run singles in the third to extend the Evergreen advantage to 16-2, and Evergreen finished scoring in the fourth with three more — two courtesy of Brianna Huffman’s double off the center field wall.
Richardson took the first game victory, allowing five Eagle hits.
The Vikings continued their assault on North Central pitching, hanging a seven spot in the first inning of the nightcap.
Schuster’s two-run single after a couple of Eagle mistakes in the field gave the Vikings a lead they never gave up.
A pair of wild pitches, Jessica Riggs’ ringing double and Lucy Nichols’ bounce out brought home five more runs.
Schuster’s run-scoring single added another in the second and the Vikings tacked on four more in the third.
VanDenk and Chamberlin went back-to-back jack, VanDenk’s being a two-run job that accounted for three of those markers.
Keller and Nichols finished the day’s offensive flurry with run producing singles in the fourth.
“The ladies did a great job of having a plan at the plate,” explained Schuster. “Even with the difference in pitching (from the two tight losses against Otsego and Start), the girls did a great job sticking to a plan and executing, and obviously we saw the results of that.”
Meanwhile, Huffman pretty much cruised along in the circle, giving up five hits and two earned runs while striking out 11 Eagle hitters.
The Vikings play Holgate at home today before traveling to visit Northern Lakes League power Springfield Thursday.