Viking Softball Team Stays Red Hot:
The Jefferson College Vikings softball team continued their winning ways the last two weeks, sweeping four doubleheaders and running their record to 24-3. The Lady Vikes are grinding their way through the heart of the Region and Conference schedule and have shown no signs of slowing down.
On Friday, March 25th, Jefferson welcomed St. Charles Community College to Hillsboro for two games.
The Vikings used a big 3rd inning in game 1 to beat the Cougars 14 to 3 in 5 innings. Starting pitcher Haile Farris surrendered a 2-run homer in the 1st inning and a single run in the 3rd. Then the Vikings went to work. Sarah Roth got things started in the 3rd with a 1-out double. Riley Eagan reached on an error, scoring Roth. Dani Lindsey smacked a double, putting 2 runners aboard for catcher Tara Haag. Haag deposited a line drive over the centerfield fence for a 3-run homer and the Vikings were off to the races. One-out singles to Kiersten Nixon and Baily Shuman were followed by a walk to Kennedy Kohler. The bases were loaded for right fielder Lindsey Brandt. Brandt smacked the 3rd pitch she saw high over the left-field fence, high over the creek, and high into the woods for a grand slam. The Vikings had batted around, and Sarah Roth reached base once more in the inning on a 2-out walk. Riley Eagan coaxed another walk and there were 2 runners on for Dani Lindsey. Lindsey hit her 2nd double of the inning, scoring Roth and making the score 9-2. Tara Haag then collected her 2nd hit and 4th RBI of the inning with a single that scored Eagan. Nixon drew a walk, loading the bases once more. Bailey Shuman knocked a 2-run single, but the Vikings still weren’t done. Sophomore Amelia Stone pinch hit for Kohler and collected an RBI single giving Jefferson 14 total runs in the inning.
Ali Cook replaced Farris on the mound and retired the final 4 outs in the game. Farris pitched 3 1/3rd innings, giving up 3 runs on 2 hits. She struck out 8 batters and walked no one. Ali Cook pitched 1 and 2/3rds innings, giving up no runs and no hits while striking out 4 and walking 1.
Kiersten Nixon claimed the circle in game 2 and struck out the side in the 1st inning. Jefferson’s bats remained hot. Leadoff hitter Sarah Roth singled and first baseman Riley Eagan doubled her to 3rd. Dani Lindsey next punched a single to the outfield that scored Roth. A pair of Fielder’s Choices from the bats of catcher Jamilyn Bagby and Nixon plated 2 more runs. St. Charles got a run back in the second after a walk, single, and Fielder’s Choice. In the bottom of the frame, the Vikings would add to their lead. Lindsey Brandt started things off by reaching on an error. Jenna Roth bunted her to 2nd. Next up was Sarah Roth and she hit a hard ground ball that the 2nd baseman couldn’t come up with. Brandt scored on the play. Riley then collected her 2nd hit of the game, putting Vikings on 1st and 3rd. Dani Lindsey reached on another Cougar error, scoring Jenna Roth. Jeffco continued the run barrage after Jamilyn Bagby singled home Eagan. It was now Bailey Shuman’s turn to add to the score. She lined a base hit, scoring Lindsey and Bagby to make the score 7-1. In the 3rd inning, Jefferson kept their foot on the gas pedal. Lindsey Brandt led off the inning with a walk and Sarah Roth promptly doubled her home. A 2-out double from Dani Lindsey and a single by Bagby added 2 more runs. Kiersten Nixon would close out the scoring with a 2-run blast. Ali Cook relieved Nixon in the 5th and closed things out after giving up 2 runs.
The final score in game 2 was 12-3. The Vikings rapped out 11 hits in the 5-inning game, highlighted by Jamilyn Bagby’s 3-hit, 3-RBI performance. Kiersten Nixon picked up the win, pitching 4 innings of 3-hit ball. She gave up 1 run while striking out 9 batters and walking three.
On Saturday, March 26th, the Vikings hosted State Fair Community College. Haile Farris toed the rubber in game 1. The Vikings scored 6 runs in route to a 6-1 win over the Roadrunners. Tara Haag and Danielle Lindsey did the heavy lifting for the Vikings. Both players hit home runs and account for 2 RBI apiece. Lindsey Brandt accounted for the other earned run with an RBI base hit. Farris pitched a complete game, giving up a single run on 6 hits while walking 3 and striking out 2 batters.
Haley Nixon took possession of the circle in game 2. The sophomore hurler held State Fair scoreless as the Vikings won 8-0. Centerfielder Bailey Shuman had a big day at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a home run and 2 RBI. Danielle Lindsey was 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI. Freshman catcher Jamilyn Bagby contributed with her 2nd home run of the season, a solo shot. Nixon scattered 5 hits while striking out 8 Roadrunners. She walked no one in the game.
Jefferson took the short road trip to St. Louis Community College to play 2 games on April 2nd. The Vikings cruised to an 11-4 win in game 1 behind the pitching of Haile Farris. Farris threw 6 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 7 hits. The Central Methodist commit struck out 6 batters while walking 3. The Vikings got to work early, scoring 2 runs in the 1st inning. Freshman Sarah Roth led off the game with a base hit and promptly stole 2nd. She moved to 3rd on a fielder’s choice and was driven home on a double by Dani Lindsey. Lindsey would then come round to score on a single off the bat of Kiersten Nixon. The Vikes kept rolling in the 2nd frame. A leadoff single from Kennedy Kohler. The next 2 batters made outs but once again, Sarah Roth came through with a base hit, scoring Kohler. With Roth aboard, sophomore Riley Eagan crushed an opposite-field home run to give Jefferson a 5-0 lead. St. Louis got single runs in the 3rd and 4th innings to pull within 3 runs of the Vikings. In the top of the 5th, Jefferson got one back after Eagan led off with a double. After the next 2 batters were retired, Kiersten Nixon collected her 2nd base hit of the game, and Eagan trotted home. The Archers picked up 2 more runs in the bottom of the 6th inning before Jefferson broke the game open in the 7th. Sarah Roth was the catalyst once again, this time leading off with a double. Riley Eagan worked a walk to put 2 on for Dani Lindsey. She stroked a base hit to score Sarah Roth. Catcher Tara Haag followed with an RBI single of her own bringing home Eagan. Lindsey would score on an error to make it 19-4. The final blow was a 2-run homer from Kiersten Nixon. Ali Cook relieved Farris in the 7th and held the Archers scoreless to seal the victory.
Sarah Roth finished the game 3-4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI. Riley Eagan was 2-3 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. Dani Lindsey was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Kiersten Nixon went 3-4 with 3 RBI and 1 run scored.
Jefferson scored 6 runs in the 5th inning in game 2 on the way to a 9-4 win and sweep of the day. The Lady Vikings picked up a run in the 1st as Sarah Roth continued her hot hitting from the leadoff spot in the order. She doubled to start the game, moved to 3rd on a groundout, and was driven home by Danielle Lindsey on a groundout to the 2nd baseman. The Archers tied the game in the 2nd, but the Vikings reclaimed the lead with 2 runs in the 4th. Kiersten Nixon drew a leadoff walk. Kennedy Kohler smacked a 1-out double and Nixon raced home. Right fielder Lindsey Brandt traded places with Kohler, hitting an RBI double of her own. The score was 3-2 in favor of Jefferson when they came to bat in the top of the 5th inning. Dani Lindsey reached base on a leadoff single. Catcher Jamilyn Bagby sacrificed Lindsey to 2nd. Nixon singled, putting 2 Vikings on base for Bailey Shuman. Shuman popped a single, but the runners had to hold up. Now the bases were loaded for Kohler, and she delivered again, this time a 2-RBI base hit. Lindsey Brandt collected her 2nd hit of the game, a single putting 2 on with 1 out. Coach Starkey rolled the dice and brought in sophomore Tara Haag to pinch-hit. Haag delivered, scoring both runners with a base hit. After a walk to Sarah Roth, Riley Eagan brought home Haag with a long fly ball to right field. When the dust had settled, the Vikings had sent 9 batters to the plate and collected 5 runs on 6 hits. St. Louis tried to come back in their half of the inning but could only manage 2 additional runs.
Nixon did not allow a base runner in the final 2 innings to get the win. She bulldogged her way through 7 complete innings, giving up 4 runs on 3 hits while striking out 13 and walking 6 batters. Kennedy Kohler was 2 for 4 in the game with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Tara Haag collected 2 RBI in her pinch-hitting appearance and scored a run. Sarah Roth was 2 for 3 with 2 walks and a run scored.
Jefferson was right back in action the very next day, playing 2 games at home against Metropolitan College on Sunday, April 3rd. Game 1 started as a pitcher’s duel. The Vikings scratched across single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th innings to take a 3-0 lead. Metropolitan got 1 run back with a solo home run in the 6th. In the Viking’s half of the frame, the “Bash Sisters” went to work. Consecutive base hits by Kennedy Kohler and Lindsey Brandt put 2 aboard. Two outs later, Riley Eagan sent a pitch well over the fence in centerfield for a 3-run blast. Dani Lindsey was up next, and she hit the 3rd pitch she saw for a solo home run. Tara Haag then made her way to the plate and, not to be outdone, cranked a solo home run of her own. It was the 2nd time this season that the Lady Vikings had hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. Within the blink of an eye, Jeffco had scored 5 runs on 5 hits but they weren’t done yet. Kiersten Nixon motored her way to a triple and Bailey Shuman sent her home with a base hit, ending the game at 9-1 in favor of the Vikings.
Haile Farris was dominant in the circle, pitching 6 complete innings and giving up 1 run on 4 hits. She struck out 9 Metro batters while walking only 1. Jefferson clubbed 15 hits in the game. Dani Lindsey stayed hot, going 3 for 4 with a double, home run, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Haag, Nixon, Shuman, and Brandt all collected multiple hits in the game. Riley Eagan’s blast netted her 3 RBI.
The Viking’s winning streak stood at 17 as they began game 2. Getting to 18 straight wins would prove challenging. Ali Cook claimed the circle for Jefferson and found the Wolves to be tough outs. Jefferson plated a run in the 1st inning after Sarah Roth led off with a single and scored on a fielder's choice hit by Dani Lindsey. The Wolves got a run of their own in the top of the 2nd, but the Viking s scored 2 more in the bottom of the frame. Kiersten Nixon led off with a base hit but was out at 2nd on a fielder’s choice from Baily Shuman. With Shuman now at 1st base, Kennedy Kohler reached on an error, scoring Shuman. Kohler herself would score on a wild pitch and the score was now 3-1 in favor of the lady Vikings. Metropolitan got to Ali Cook in the 3rd inning, scoring 4 runs, highlighted by a 2-run homer. The Wolves now led 5-3. Metropolitan pitching proceeded to shut down the Vikings' attack for the next 3 innings. Kiersten Nixon relived Cook in the circle and kept the Wolves at bay. It was in the bottom of the 6th inning that Jeffco found there was still some magic left in their bats. Riley Eagan led off and battled back from 2 strikes to earn a walk. She was pinch-run for by the speedy Kayla Richardson. Richardson promptly stole 2nd base, and the Vikings had a runner in scoring position. Dani Lindsey was up next, and she moved the runner to 3rd base with a fielder’s choice. On a full count, Jamilyn Bagby earned a walk, putting runners at the corners. Kiersten Nixon was then walked on 4 straight pitches to load the bases with 1 out. Bailey Shuman hit into a fielder’s choice. With the sacks jammed and with 2 outs, Jefferson now trailed 5-4 as Kennedy Kohler strode to the plate. The sophomore left fielder found a pitch to her liking and scorched a double to centerfield, scoring 2 runs and giving the Vikes a 6-5 lead. The celebration was short-lived, however, as the Wolves got a run in the top of the 7th. After a leadoff base hit, a wild pitch moved the runner to 2nd. A ground out moved the runner to 3rd, and a sacrifice fly tied the score at 6-all. The Vikings went down in order in their half of the frame and the game shifted to extra innings. Neither team could generate any offense in the 8th inning. In the 9th, the Wolves would take the lead. A base hit, stolen base, and a wild pitch put a runner a 3rd. A throwing error by Riley Eagan allowed the go-ahead run to score. There were still no outs. The next 2 batters flew out, but another Vikings error allowed another run to score. Jefferson went to their half of the 9th trailing 8-6. Kennedy Kohler led off the inning with a single. Lindsey Brandt next bunted Kohler to 2nd base but there was now 1 out. Once again, Coach Starkey rolled the dice and brought Tara Haag in to pinch-hit. Again, the sophomore wouldn’t disappoint. She calmly stroked a single up the middle, scoring Kohler and pulling the Vikings to within 1 run. A flyout moved Haag to 2nd base but there were now 2 outs for Riley Eagan. Eagan quickly fell behind on the count 1-2 and the Vikings were down to their final strike. Eagan worked the count full, and Haag would be off with the next pitch. Eagan found redemption for her previous error by punching a base hit through the left side to score Haag and tie the game. With Eagan at 2nd, Dani Lindsey came to the plate. Down again to their final strike, Lindsey smacked a walk-off base hit, scoring Eagan and sending the crowd into delirium. Lindsey was mobbed by her teammates. The final score was 9-8 and the streak was now at 18 games.
Sarah Roth, Kiersten Nixon, Kennedy Kohler, and Tara Haag all had multiple hits in the game. Kohler finished the game with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Nixon picked up the win in the circle, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs on 4 hits while striking out 6 and walking 1 batter.
The Jefferson College softballers are now 24-3 on the season. They will put their winning streak on the line this Thursday (April 7th) as they host Mineral Area College at home for 2 games starting at 2 pm.
Come out and support your Vikings!