Vikings hold off Rebels 7-5

Published 8:41 pm Monday, April 9, 2012

Hayfield's Dani Wagner is greeted by her teammates after she hit a two-run homerun in the Vikings' 7-5 win over Southland in Hayfield Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

HAYFIELD — The Rebels and Vikings combined for 20 hits, but it was an early defensive play that swung momentum in Hayfield’s favor as they hung on to beat Southland 7-5 in a softball game in Hayfield Monday.

With Hayfield (2-2 overall) leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third it looked as though the Rebels (0-1 overall) were going to tie things up when an errant throw came in off a right field single by Southland’s Brooke Yunker. But Hayfield third baseman Emily Blanchard tracked it down and fired home to Hayfield catcher Dani Wagner who tagged out Southland’s Lindsey Bottema to end the inning and Southland’s first real threat of the day.

“I feel like our defense is really strong this year and that’s what were basing our season on,” Emily Blanchard said.

Southland catcher Haley Kirkpatrick looks to the umpire for a call after she tagged out Hayfield's Jaide Ryks at the plate during Southland's 7-5 loss to the Rebels in Hayfield Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

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Besides the defense, it was some quality hitting that kept Hayfield on top Monday. Seven different Vikings had at least one hit in the win.

“When one person gets a hit, we all get excited and then the next one gets a hit and it keeps rolling,” Emily Blanchard said.

The Vikings boosted their lead to 4-0 when Wagner, a sophomore who went three-for-four, blasted a two-out, two-run homer to deep center off of Southland’s Kelli Smith after Jaide Ryks had singled in a run earlier in the frame.

“I just had to get her speed down and I connected with that one,” Wagner said. “We had to get our bats going (today).”

Southland closed the gap to 5-2 on a two-run homer by Hilary Bottema in the fifth, but the Vikings turned a double play later in that inning to escape further damage.

Hayfield padded its lead in the sixth when Wagner scored on an error and Abby Blanchard scored on a wild pitch.

Southland put the tying run on the plate with one out in the top of the seventh after Haley Kiefer blasted a three-run homer for the Rebels, but Hayfield pitcher Jocelyn Sanvick ended the game by forcing a pair of groundouts.

“They hit that three-run homer and we didn’t hang our heads. We came back and got those two outs,” Hayfield head coach Jana Wagner said.

Sanvick held the Rebels to just one hit in the first three innings before they began to start connecting.

“It was our first game and that’s not an excuse, but we started slow,” Southland head coach Greg Schulte said. “As we got a little more confidence in ourselves we started to hit better. I wish we would’ve started a little quicker, but the way we hit towards the end of the game is where I thought we should be.”

Southland 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 — 5 8 3

Hayfield 1 0 0 4 0 2 X — 7 12 1

Hayfield pitching: Jocelyn Sanvick (W), 7 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 K

Hayfield hitting: Dani Wagner, 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 3 R, SB; Abby Blanchard, 2-for-4, RBI, R, SB; Emily Blanchard, 1-for-3, BB; Grace Mindrup, 1-for-4; Rachel Masching, 0-for-3; Meg Tapp, 2-for-3, double, R; Jaide Ryks, 2-for-3, triple, RBI, R; Grace Walker, 0-for-2; Jessie Foster, 1-for-3

Southland pitching: Kelli Smith (L), 6 IP, 12 H, 1 BB, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 K

Southland hitting: Haley Kiefer, 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, R; Lindsey Bottema, 2-for-3, BB; Smith, 1-for-4; Celina Yunker, 0-for-4; Brooke Yunker, 1-for-3; Megan Mullenbach, 1-for-3, R; Hilary Bottema, 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 R; Haley Kirkpatrick, 0-for-2, R, BB; Shelby Vlasaty, 0-for-3