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VCSU softball starts season 1-2 at tournament

March 1, 2012

The Valley City State University softball team lost its final two games at the St. Cloud State University Dome Tournament Sunday in St. Cloud, Minn.
NCAA Division II programs Augustana College and Upper Iowa University beat Valley City State 10-4 and 8-3.
Augusta College hit four home runs en route to a 10-4 victory over Valley City State. Two-run home runs in the bottom of the first and second innings gave the No. 7 ranked team in NCAA Division II to a 4-2 lead they never lost.
Valley City State worked its way back to trail 6-4 before Augustana scored four in the bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach. Adrianna Boychuk and Caitlin Giesbrecht paced the Vikings, both going two for three at the plate. Katie McBride was tagged with her first loss of the season giving up six earned runs in four innings before being relieved by freshman Paige Brandvold.
The second game, against Upper Iowa University, started in the same fashion and the Vikings couldn’t recover.
After scoring a run in the top of the first to take a lead, the Vikings saw their opponent take a lead in the bottom of the first and then hold on for the rest of the game. Upper Iowa put three runs on the board in the home half of the first and never trailed the rest of the way, en route to an 8-3 victory. The Viking defense struggled with five errors in the game.
Jen Shadlock took the loss, giving up four earned in an inning and a third before being relieved by McBride who finished the game for the Vikings.
Offensively, Shadlock along with Shayna Taffinder and Jen Pettit led the Vikings collecting two hits each. One of Pettit’s hits was a solo home run, her second of the season.
The Vikings started the tournament with a a 9-3 win over Jamestown College to to open the season.
McBride struck out thirteen and fellow senior Pettit provided the power at the plate to lead the Vikings.
The Jimmies opened the scoring to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the third inning when the lead off runner made her way to the base paths via a Viking error. That lead would be short lived however, as Pettit hit a towering home run to left field in the top of the fourth to stake the Vikings to a 2-1 lead. Valley City State would never trail again.
The Vikings scored two more in the top of the fifth on two Jimmie errors to lead 5-1. The Jimmies cut the lead in half on a two run home run in the bottom of the sixth but the Vikings reclaimed the momentum in the top of the seventh, putting the game away with four runs, two on a bases loaded double by Pettit.
Pettit, Shayna Taffinder, Cyndi Figol and Emma Nelson all collected two hits each for the Vikings as they outhit their opponents 10-4 in the game.
McBride, strikeouts allowed only four hits over seven innings and gave up only one earned run in her first and the Vikings first victory of the season.
The losses put the Vikings at 1-2 on the early season. Next up for Valley City State will be their spring break trip to the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Florida. The Vikings will open on March 8 versus Indiana Wesleyan and play 14 games in six days in Florida.

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