Lady Vikes get first win of season against Richland

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Warren Central has been short-handed early in this softball season, but they showed Tuesday that they’re still fighting.

April Lynn doubled in two runs during a three-run third inning, and drove in another run with a fielder’s choice in the fifth as the Lady Vikes beat Richland 5-3 for their first win of the season.

Warren Central (1-2) won just four days after losing 14-5 to Richland, and it came without several key players. Two starters are still with the basketball team, and two others left Tuesday’s game due to illness and injury.

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“It feels good,” coach Dana McGivney said of the victory. “We’ve been having to play a lot of people in different positions, and we still don’t have all of our starters back, so it’s especially good to get a win when you have to bring in people who don’t normally get to play, or aren’t normally starters, and still get a win over a team that put a whooping on us last week.”

Warren Central was down 2-0 early, but its bats started connecting in the third inning. Lynn drove in two runners with a double, and then scored from third on a fielder’s choice by Brianna Daughtry.

Richland’s Meagan Wynne sent a runner home with a double of her own in the top of the fifth to tie it at 3. In the bottom of the inning, Kaylee Hoeft reached on an error and eventually scored the go-ahead run on Lynn’s fielder’s choice. In the sixth inning, Brooke Comans walked and scored on a single and an error by Kennedy Monsour to give the Lady Vikes their 5-3 lead.

Richland had a chance to retake the lead in the top of the seventh, with the bases loaded and facing a full count, but Hoeft got a strikeout and closed the game.

McGivney was excited about her team as the season started to pick up speed.

“You’re always optimistic, especially with this bunch,” McGivney said. “They work hard, you’re not going to give up on them. They push and they find ways to win. We’re not going to overpower anyone on the mound, but we’ve got a group of about three or so pitchers that can get the job done when we need them to.”

McGivney said pitching was one of the main areas they were trying to improve.

Hoeft and Daughtry split the pitching duties on Tuesday. Hoeft went three innings and allowed one run on five hits while striking out five. Daughtry pitched four innings and allowed two unearned runs.

“We had to move a lot of people around because we lost six seniors last year, so (we’re) trying to fill in positions and move people to new positions and get them ready to play,” McGivney said.

With all the shifting and changing, McGivney said she was prepared for the Lady Vikes’ slow start.

“I expected us to have a few rough spots at the beginning of the season until we can get everybody ready. We’re going to be flipping and flopping and moving people,” McGivney said.

McGivney was confident that experience was key for her team’s improvement in the next couple of weeks. The Lady Vikes will play at Florence on Thursday, and then in the Vicksburg High tournament Saturday.

“I think they’ll start getting more confidence in one another and starting to gel more and understanding how to play together better, because it’s still new to them,” McGivney said.