The Indians and the Vikings duked it out once again on Portage’s softball diamond Wednesday night. The game did not disappoint, including late game rallies by both sides. The score was 7-5 going into the last inning before the Vikings put up six additional runs, making the score 13-5 going into the bottom of the 7th. Portage’s response was putting up five runs in a late rally. Both teams played with determination as the game was on the line and abilities were tested.
Significant performances from the Vikings included Payton Zahm, Charlotte Dombrowski, and Ashley Templin. All contributed key hits at the right time that gave the edge to the Vikings.
The Vikings’ head coach, Tracy Corneil, spoke highly of her team as they broke their scoreless game streak by putting 13 runs on the board against the red Indians.
“Coming out tonight and hitting the ball well really helped us—that is what we needed to do,” Corneil said. “We all chipped in. I looked down the order and just knew it was a good team effort tonight, so I was pretty happy.”
Corneil had faith in her Vikings as Portage started to chip away. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh if we lose this…’ and I knew Portage was a good hitting team, but I was glad our defense could come up with the outs and finish the game,” Corneil said.
Corneil believes playing hard, capitalizing on opponents’ errors, and strong defense will be the key for the rest of the year for the Vikes.
The Indians fought hard with good offensive efforts lead by Brianna Trinidad, Hannah Kraynak, and Juliana Hall. A 2-run homerun by Kraynak gave the Indians a confidence boost, but wasn’t enough to lead them to victory.
Kraynak and Hall were proud of the way their team performed nearing the end of the game. “I felt that, even though we didn’t start off how we wanted to, we still put forth a strong effort, fought all the way through, and made it a competitive game,” Hall said.
“We performed to the best of our abilities and hope to take that approach into the rest of conference play and the whole season,” Kraynak said.
Kraynak’s homerun was her first of the season and an attempt to propel the Indians back into the game. “The homerun was great and felt amazing. It was a moment in the game that really got our team excited and hopefully gives us some confidence going into the rest of the season,” Kraynak said.
Coach Joylyn Ichiyama of the Indians was confident in the way her team performed and battled back, but hopes for improvements in the future.
“I was happy with the way we battled back, but we need to get better defensively going into the rest of the season. It was good to see players step up late in the game and deliver hits for us, and I hope that continues,” Ichiyama said. “I want to compete with the Region teams and beat our sectional opponents to give us momentum for the postseason.”
The Vikings will compete in their next game on April 23, hoping to continue their powerful offensive efforts against the Pirates of Merrillville.
The Indians will compete again on the 23, as well, hosting a tough Crown Point Bulldogs team.