ONA – Head coach Ken Swisher’s Ripley Viking softball team split its final two regular season games last weekend, falling at Point Pleasant on Friday night before bouncing back with a solid MSAC win at Cabell Midland on Saturday.

Against Point Pleasant, the Vikings were buried in the middle innings.  Point scored all 10 of its runs in that span, plating three in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth and four in the fifth to get the win.  The Vikings actually led 1-0 after the top of the first, but could not match Point’s production, losing 10-4.

“We made two errors and the flood gates opened,” Swisher said, “You can’t give teams extra outs.”

Destinee Baldwin was collared with the loss on the hill, giving up six runs (three earned) on eight hits with one strikeout in three innings of work.  Jaelyn Hunt came on in relief in the fourth and finished the game, allowing four runs (all earned) on four hits with a walk in three innings.

Ella Casto led the Vikings at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.  Haley Carte added a double and an RBI, Hunt went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Cassidy Young went 2-for-4 with a double and Paige Swisher went 1-for-4.

Leah Cochran got the win on the mound for Point, walking two and striking out one.  Cammy Hesson was 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI to lead Point at the plate.

Ripley won the JV contest, 5-1.  Jahlea Bumpus got the win on the mound, while Tori Hinzman went 3-for-3 at the plate.

Saturday against Cabell Midland, the Vikings were powered by Casto’s first inning grand slam en route to an 8-2 win over the host Knights.  Casto’s bomb gave Ripley a 4-0 lead, plenty of cushion for starter Hunt to get the mound win.  She allowed just two runs (one earned) on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in going the distance for the Vikings.

“We played very well,” Swisher said, “ We jumped on them from the beginning and never let up. Our defense was super; Lexi Miller made a wow catch, Katie (Sinclair) played center field like she owned it, the infield made play after play.  A grand slam by Ella Casto got us going early and Haley Carte fielded some early bunt attempts to shut them down. Great team effort.  Jaelyn was as solid as a rock pitching for us and we played defense like there was no tomorrow.”

Aside from Casto’s grand slam, Hunt also finished with a homer and two RBI.  Swisher added a triple and an RBI, Young went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Lexi Miller doubled.

Katie Kelly led the Knights at the plate, going 1-for-3 with an RBI.

With the regular season concluded, Ripley (15-11) entered sectional tournament play last night (Monday) against Parkersburg South.  They continue sectionals tonight in Vienna.