Mar 15th, 2007 @ 2:02 pm | Author: Doug Peters
The Valley City State University Viking softball team finished their Florida spring break trip on Wednesday winning three games to move their winning streak to twelve straight and their overall record to 10-0.

In game one on the day, Carling Beninger threw her fourth straight shootout to begin the year to keep New Jersey City University in check, striking out five and walking none. The Vikings took advantage of four NJCU errors to push five runs across to claim a victory in opening game of the doubleheader. Offensively the Vikings were paced by Morgan Tate and Jackie O Neill who put up two hits a piece of the Viking total of seven.

After seven scoreless innings in game two, the Vikings rallied in the eighth to steal the victory in the bottom of the ninth. Alana Purvis threw seven scoreless innings before NJCU scored one in the top of the eighth when the game moved to international tie-breaker rules. The Vikings would score a run of their own in the bottom of the eighth when Tate scored Kelli Baumgartner. Purvis pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the ninth, inducing a force out at home and a pop out to end the inning. With Lara Loomis starting at second base in the bottom of the ninth, Jackie O' Neill singled in the game winning run to seal the victory for the Vikings. Purvis picked up the extra inning win, throwing all nine innings, striking out 15 while walking only two in the game.

In the final game of the trip, the Vikings battled back from an early 5-0 deficit to finish the spring training undefeated. Krystal Hathaway struggled to find the zone and County College of Morris (NJ) staked themselves to a five run lead through the first two innings. In the top of the third, the top three hitters for the Vikings would reach and score to push the score to 5-3. In the fourth, O' Neill once again led off the inning with a hit to set the table for a big inning. Baumgartner singled in O' Neill, followed by single by Amanda Carter to push Baumgartner across to even the score. The Vikings would then hit three consecutive doubles by Morgan Tate, Alana Purvis and Lara Loomis to claim a 7-5 lead. The Vikings pushed two more across in the sixth and one in the seventh to seal a 10-6 victory and a perfect spring road trip of twelve consecutive victories. Beninger pitched the final five innings to get the win for the Vikings, surrendering one run on three hits and one walk.

'This was a great trip for us,' commented head coach Chad Slyter. 'We were able to see a little bit of everything. We learned to jump on teams early, play from behind and play in tight situations at the end of games. Our goal was to play well and get better each game and the wins and losses will take care of themselves.'

'We got outstanding pitching, everyone on the team hit the ball extremely well and played solid defense,' Slyter added. 'Now we'll get back to work and prepare for the conference season and try to carry over a good start into conference play.'