Even though they dropped their first game to the Spring Valley Lady Timberwolves in the Mountain State Athletic Conference (MSAC) softball tournament, the Ripley Lady Vikings softball team’s performance could not be viewed as anything other than an inspiring success.  That’s because the Lady Vikings upset the defending Class AAA state champion and #1 ranked Hurricane Lady Redskins 6-4 in ten innings in their second game.  Spring Valley would go on to win the tournament, but it was the win over the Lady Redskins that has the Lady Vikings looking forward to sectional tournament play.

“Sometimes you just have to go play the game and put the past behind you,” head coach Ken Swisher said, “In other words, dream big.”

Against Spring Valley, the Lady Vikings simply could not get anything going offensively.  Ripley took the lead in the top of the fourth, but immediately surrendered two runs in the bottom half of the inning.  The Lady Timberwolves added two more runs in the fifth, and then put the game away in the sixth with three more runs, bringing the final score to 7-1. 

Chelsey Hager pitched all six innings for the Lady Vikings, giving up nine hits, two earned runs, three walks, and struck out eight.  The Lady Vikings amassed four hits total, with Hager going one for three with a run scored, Hannah Ford going one for three with a stolen base, Darby Peterson going one for three with an RBI, and Maddy McCann going one for three.

Against the top ranked Lady Redskins, the Lady Vikes stormed back from a 4-0 deficit, getting one run in fifth and three in the sixth to force extra innings.  

Both teams went scoreless until the top of the tenth, when the Lady Vikings were able to push across two runs.  Hurricane was unable to answer in their half of the inning, giving the win to the Lady Vikings by the final score of 6-4.  Darby Petersen went the distance to get the win, pitching all ten innings, while giving up two earned runs, one walk, and struck out five batters.  Junior Ashley Mellinger led the way offensively, going four for five with a double and a run scored, Dusti Fisher went three for five with a double and a run scored, Meghan Brannon went two for four with a run scored, Ford went two for five with a run scored and a stolen base, Myranda Murphy went one for four with two RBIs, Hager went one for five with a double, and Petersen went one for five, and McCann added an RBI.  Sierra Norris, Allie Hamilton, and Sapphire Parsons each scored a run.  

Swisher was understandably ecstatic with the result and his team’s performance, and was certain that it will propel his team going forward.

“Confidence plays such a big role in performing at a high level,” Swisher said, “If this doesn’t create a lot of optimism, I’ll be surprised.”

The Lady Vikings finished the regular season with a 16-6 record after a weekend victory over Ravenswood, and now begin sectional tournament play.The Lady Vikings will take on the loser of Capital and Riverside on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at Lady Viking Park.