The fortunes of the Hopkins varsity softball team have gone south ever since they’ve been paired up with stronger opponents as the season nears completion.
The Vikings won 12 ballgames in a row, losing only to state-ranked Hamilton in their opener, but now they sport a 14-7 overall mark. And you can chalk that up to daring to take on better teams.
Hopkins came out on the short end against perennial powerhouse Otsego Thursday afternoon, 11-1 and 12-4.
Otsego busted the first game wide open in the bottom of the third inning with a five-run outburst after leading 2-0 over the first two. The Bulldogs added four more runs in the fifth to whittle the game down to five innings.
Abby Lucas limited the normally robust Hopkins offense to just one hit and one unearned run over the five frames.
Ava Vanderkolk had the only hit for the Vikings.
Freshman Hannah Brinks hurled for Hopkins, giving up nine hits and five earned runs in five innings.
Losing pitcher Sierra Smith homered in the seventh inning had a pair of singles for the Vikings and teammates Lyla Reynolds and Peyton Roxbury both had one hit, but Otsego had five runs in the first two innings and rallied for seven more in the fourth.
Reynolds collected two runs batted in and Emily Dimock added another.
Smith gave up all 12 runs, eight of them earned, on 12 hits.
Hopkins will entertain Delton in a non-league doubleheader Friday.