KINGSBURG - The lineup of the Kingsburg softball team couldn’t have hit any better in its home opener against Sunnyside High School in a 12-1 victory on April 3.
Kingsburg ended a six-game losing streak and the game ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
It was the first home game of the season for the Vikings after the team’s game against Hanford West on March 13 was rained out. It was also the team’s first action since March 20.
“It always feels good here,” Kingsburg head coach Randy Sieger said about the team’s first home game. “The atmosphere here is always really good. Our fans, parents they all come and packed the place out.”
Vikings’ freshman Taryn Irigoyen was a notable performer in the circle and at the plate. As the starting pitcher, Irigoyen tossed three shutout innings including six strikeouts and one hit allowed. As a batter, Irigoyen hit a bases-clearing double that was almost a home run in the bottom of the second inning.
The freshman went 1-for-2 with three RBIs against the Wildcats.
“Today was the first game we all came together as a team,” Irigoyen said. “Today everyone adjusted.”
Sieger said Irigoyen isn’t a pitcher year-round and she struggled to begin the year, but has been more consistent in the circle lately.
“As the season has gone on, she’s gotten better and better with every game that she has pitched,” Sieger said. “She got more and more consistent, early in the season she had a lot of walks and hit batters and now the last three or four games she has pitched, she’s pitched really well and...if she could do that, she’s going to have a really good finish to the season this year.”
After a 1-0 lead, Kingsburg scored seven runs in the second inning, which broke the game open for the Vikings leading 8-0. Marissa Montelongo and Marissa Gonzalez both had two-run doubles in the second inning.
Carla Duarte and Reyna Gomez each drove in a run in the third inning, which extended the lead 11-0 for Kingsburg.
Duarte set the tone for the Vikings in the first inning, getting on base with a walk and stealing second and third base. The junior scored on a sac fly by Blaire Wilson.
“Tonight we executed some things well that we haven’t done in the past few games,” Sieger said about the team’s offense. “It went really well tonight.”
After a slow start to the season, Sieger said the girls keep progressing as a team after each game.
“Our early season [games] was a extremely tough schedule,” Sieger said. “So we played a lot of good teams, which I think helps you in the long run. It’s painful in the short run when you’re suffering through it all, but in the long run that’s how you improve by playing that kind of competition.”
Two days after the game against Sunnyside, Kingsburg played at a tournament hosted by Washington Union High School. The Vikings went 2-2-1 with wins against La Jolla Country Day (4-0 score) and Chowchilla (4-2).
The two wins happened in the team’s first two games of the tourney before playing to a scoreless tie with Central. In the final day of the tournament, the Vikings lost to St. Francis-Sacramento and Madera high schools on the final day of the tournament.
After competing in the tournament, Kingsburg’s record is 5-9-1 overall.
With Central Sequoia League getting underway this week, Sieger hopes the girls put the early season woes behind them.
“Now is the time that we need to make a run,” Sieger said. “Now is the time when it really counts going into league and hopefully going into playoffs...I think we’re coming together more and more every week.”
Kingsburg started CSL play against Immanuel on April 10 at home and is next scheduled to host Dinuba on April 13 at 6:30 p.m.
On April 17, the girls will head on the road to take on Central Valley Christian that is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.