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In the eight games leading up to the Valley City State University baseball teamâ€™s spring break trip to Tucson, Ariz., the Vikings fared well enough offensively but only scored more than five runs in one of those games.
So in that sense, the team lit things up to open the trip, which lasts until Friday.
The Vikings opened the tournament with games Sunday against the Illinois Institute of Technology and Norwich (Vt.) University and had no problems getting things going. The Vikings combined for 36 total hits and 35 runs.
VCSU beat Illinois Tech 17-6 and Norwich 19-6.
The Vikings then followed it with a 6-2 win over Dakota Wesleyan University Monday.
Against Illinois Tech, the Vikings went up 2-0 after the first inning but then had eight runs in the second. By the end of the fourth, the Vikings were up 17-1.
The Vikings were led offensively by right fielder Scott Stephenson, who went 2-3 from the plate with two walks. He finished the game with a home run, scored three times and had five RBI.
Third baseman Kyle Skinner finished the game 1-2 at the plate with a double, a walk and four RBI. The Vikings finished the game with seven extra base hits.
Starting pitcher Ronnie Blagg went five innings with four strikeouts and one earned run.
Against Norwich, the Vikings got solid pitching from Ryan Shaw, who threw six innings and struck out 12. He didnâ€™t allow a run until his final inning on the mound, when he allowed three.
The Vikings again held their own offensively, scoring 19 runs on 18 hits.
VCSU got on the board with a three-run first inning and went up 7-0 after the third.
In the fifth inning, the Vikings took advantage of a few hit batsmen, along with RBI doubles from Brenden Shearer and Alex Vierria to score seven runs and go up 14-0. The inning was capped by a run scoring triple by Stephenson.
The Vikings then scored five more in the seventh inning.
Monday the Vikings had run production throughout the game, scoring a single run in the first inning, two each in the third and fifth, and one more in the seventh.
Josh Evans went 3-4 at the plate and scored each time he was on base. Skinner went 2-3 with two RBI.
Vikingsâ€™ starting pitcher Derek Zitzow went six innings for the win and allowed only two runs with seven strikeouts. Colin Waldner threw one inning with three strikeouts.
The Vikings continue their Tuscon trip today with a a double header against St. Ambrose (Iowa) University starting at 10 a.m.
Softball gets a sweep
After losing games to rain Sunday, the Valley City State University Viking Softball team picked up its first two game sweep of the season Monday at the Rebel Spring Games in scoring a 6-1 victory over the University of St. Francis (Ind.) and a 7-2 win over Spring Arbor University (Mich.) 7-2.
Valley City State scored one run in the top of the first before plating five in the top of the fourth inning to take a 6-0 lead over the University of St Francis in game one of the day. Pitcher Katie McBride took care of the rest.
McBride recorded the first ten outs of the game by strikeout en route to thirteen for the game. She scattered six hits over seven innings, giving up one earned run and walking none.
Offensively the Vikings pounded out eleven hits, led by right fielder Hayley Bevan who went three for three at the plate. Jen Shadlock, Savannah McMillin and Hilary Kulczewski all collected two hits apiece for Valley City State in the win.
It was much of the same in game two versus Spring Arbor University. The Vikings jumped out to a 7-0 lead through two innings and were never threatened in the game.
Jen Shadlock allowed only two earned runs on two hits while striking out six and walking three as she picked up her second win of the season. Shadlock induced nine ground ball outs in the game.
Three Vikings had a multi-hit game with Kulczewski leading the way with a three for four outing. McMillin and Adrianna Boychuk each tallied two hits for Valley City State.
The two game sweep moves the Vikings to 4-5 on the season and 3-3 on their Florida spring break trip. Valley City State returns to action on Wednesday when they play Trinity Christian College (Ill.) and Missouri Baptist at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.