Kayla Branstad of Northwood-Kensett attempts to block the plate Wednesday during a 10-0 loss to Rockford. The Vikings were eliminated in the first round of the Class 1A Region 3 tournament after earning a regular-season record of 9-15-1. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune
Kayla Branstad of Northwood-Kensett attempts to block the plate Wednesday during a 10-0 loss to Rockford. The Vikings were eliminated in the first round of the Class 1A Region 3 tournament after earning a regular-season record of 9-15-1. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Gallery: Second inning sinks Vikings

Published 9:54pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rockford defeats Northwood-Kensett for 3rd time this week

NORTHWOOD — Northwood-Kensett lost 10-0 against Rockford Wednesday in five innings in the first round of the Class 1A Region 3 softball tournament.

After Rockford took a one-run lead in the first inning, the Warriors exploded in the second with six runs. The Vikings committed several fielding errors, but pitcher Shelby Low got Northwood-Kensett out of a bases-loaded jam to end the inning.

“They had a lot of bloop hits that fell behind third base and cost us,” Northwood-Kensett head coach Ethan Weiss said. “They did the things they’re supposed to do to win and we didn’t.”

Low took the pitching circle for the first three innings. She struck out four batters and allowed seven walks. Taryn Van Ryswyk entered the game in relief in the fourth inning. She didn’t allow any hits or walks.

Chandler Capitani, Samantha Butler and Low each had one hit to lead the Vikings at the plate.

In the last week, Northwood-Kensett and Rockford became familiar foes. All of their meetings this season came within a week. The Warriors beat the Vikings 13-3 on July 3 at Rockford, and Rockford also prevailed in the rematch 14-5 Friday at Northwood.

Northwood-Kensett finished the season with an overall record of 9-15-1. The Vikings began the season 8-2, but the team finished the year on a 10-game skid.

However, Northwood-Kensett finished second in the Corn Bowl Conference in team batting average (.330) and third in total hits (233).

“I’m really proud of the girls,” Weiss said. “They fought hard with low numbers. I’d rather take 10 girls who want to win and play hard — like these girls — than have 20 girls who don’t want to play or win.”

On an individual level, Low’s batting average (.474) was second in the conference and in the top 25 of Class 1A.

“We should do well next year, since all the girls will be back. We’re not losing anyone,” Low said. “We have the potential to be a good team.”

Low and Van Ryswyk both finished in the top 10 in the conference in throwing strikeouts.

The Vikings are two years removed from a 1-26 record, and last year the team was 9-16.

Weiss said he accepted a coaching position at East Marshall High School next season. Jayden Ott helped Weiss as an assistant coach for Northwood-Kensett this season.

After having no seniors this year, the Vikings will have seven seniors next year.