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Vikings beat Patriots in softball slugfest

Mar. 21—The weather was chilly, occasionally a little breezy Thursday evening at West Vigo's softball diamond, but it obviously didn't have a negative effect on the hitters.

Coach Chris Nidiffer's Vikings and visiting Terre Haute North combined for 33 hits before the home team held on for a 13-10 win, a game that ended with a flyball near the center-field fence hit by the player who was the potential tying run.

West Vigo, which had twice matched Patriot rallies in earlier innings, had pulled ahead with some unearned runs, then had a chance to win the game via the run rule before settling for a 13-5 lead going into the top of the seventh. And the score hadn't changed until two were out.

Then Madi Strange lined a two-run single, Kara Salmon blasted a two-run homer, freshman Kenzie Zigler singled and scored on a double by Emma Morrison and pinch-hitter Landrie Hayes singled. Lucy Gibson, who had opened the inning with her second hit of the game, hit the towering blast that was not quite long enough.

The rally was nice, coach Chris Mundy of the Patriots said later, but said "You can't make that many mistakes."

Two of North's five errors were almost harmless. Gibson muffed a grounder at second base but caught a line drive for an unassisted double play on the very next pitch, and right fielder Paige Lintzenich dropped a flyball but threw out the runner trying to go to second. It was Lintzenich's second outfield assist, and she also had three hits — as did Salmon and Zigler — and drove in three runs.

Lintzenich had the third of three RBI singles for the Patriots in the top of the first inning, but the Vikings matched their visitors in the bottom of the inning on RBI hits by Carlea Funk and Jaycee Elkins and a sacrifice fly by Piper Beeler.

A two-run single by Lintzenich in the top of the third put North ahead 5-3, but its first two errors and Beeler's second sacrifice fly allowed the home team to tie it again. Three more unearned runs scored in the fifth to give the Vikings an 8-5 lead, and in the sixth, the Vikings erupted on a leadoff walk, four singles and a double by Carlea Funk.

Funk and winning pitcher Jaleigh Lindley had three hits each for the Vikings, while Beeler and Jaycee Elkins each had three RBI.

"[The Vikings] came to hit then too," said Nidiffer, whose team had opened with a 5-3 win over Casey on Tuesday, "and defensively they were solid."

TERRE HAUTE NORTH (AB-R-H-RBI) — Strange cf 5-2-2-2, Salmon ss 5-2-3-2, Zigler 3b 5-2-3-0, Morrison c 3-2-2-2, Wilson lf 3-0-0-0, Woelfle lf 1-0-0-0, Hayes ph 1-0-1-0, Gibson 2b 4-1-2-1, Lintzenich rf 4-0-3-3, Millington 1b 2-0-0-0, Walker p-1b 2-1-1-0, Monday p-1b-p 3-0-1-0. Totals 38-10-18-10.

WEST VIGO (AB-R-H-RBI) — Auten lf 5-1-1-0, Elkins cf 2-2-1-0, McCalister ph 1-0-0-0, Lindley p 4-2-3-0, Funk 1b 4-3-3-1, Rodgers dp 3-2-2-2, Savant rf 0-0-0-0, Beeler 2b 2-2-2-3, J.Elkins ss 4-1-2-3, Sullivan 3b 4-0-0-0, Coulston c 3-0-1-1. Totals 32-13-15-10.

TH North 302 000 5 — 10

West Vigo 302 035 x — 13

E — Salmon 2, Gibson, Woelfle, Lintzenich, Auten. DP — THN 1. LOB — THN 11, WV 6. 2B — Zigler, Funk, Morrison. HR — Salmon. SB — Strange. SF — Beeler 2.

TH North IP H R ER BB SO

Monday 3 7 5 3 1 1

Walker (L) 3 8 8 5 2 2

West Vigo IP H R ER BB SO

Lindley (W) 7 18 10 10 4 12

WP — Lindley 2, Walker 2. PB — Coulston. T — 2:39.

Next — West Vigo (2-0) hosts South Vermillion on April 3. Terre Haute North (0-1) plays March 29 at Shakamak.