Vikings continue quest for O-K Silver softball title

COVER PHOTO: Junior Hannah Brinks broke the Hopkins school season record for strikeouts and the season isn’t over yet. She is currently at 123 punch outs so every time she strikes out an opposing hitter, she sets a new school record.

Hopkins chalked up two more softball triumphs Monday afternoon to remain tied for first place in the O-K Silver Conference standings, stopping visiting Comstock Park 15-0 and 19-5.

The Vikings are locked in a struggle for the league title with perennial champion Calvin Christian, but another contender looms next Monday with Sparta. The Vikings are 9-1 in the Silver and 19-6 overall.

In the first game, Jessi Spray drove in four runs on two hits. She singled in the second inning, scoring two runs, and singled in the third inning to score another.

Ava Vanderkolk tripled to start the fireworks in the first inning, Hannah Brinks singled, Cami Hibma singled, Spray grounded out, Madison Washburn doubled, and Kate Steffes singled, each scoring one run.

Lyla Reynolds got things going in the second inning with a single, scoring one run, Hannah Brinks doubled, scoring another, and Spray singled, scoring two runs.

Hopkins scored five runs on four hits in the bottom of the third. An error scored one run, Hibma doubled, scoring one, Spray singled, scoring one, and Steffes doubled, scoring two.

Brinks threw a no-hit shutout over three innings, striking out five and walking one.

Vanderkolk, Hibma, Steffes, Brinks, Reynolds and Spray each collected two hits for Hopkins.

Reynolds did the heaviest offensive damage in the second game with a home run, a triple and two singles.

Vanderkolk also clubbed a round tripper in the first inning.

The Vikings came up with a seven-run outburst in the  in the fourth frame, highlighted by a double from Hibma and from Spray, a single by Madison Washburn and another single by Reynolds.

They brought the contest to a close in the fifth inning by scoring six runs to force the 10-run mercy rule.

Brinks went the first one and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit. Walking one and striking out one. Freshman Gracie Stallard finished up on the mound, yielding six hits and five runs. She struck out three and didn’t walk anybody.

Hopkins will play Forest Hills Central in a non-league matchup Friday and then will have a showdown Monday with Sparta.

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