KINGSBURG - In the circle and at the plate, the Kingsburg Vikings were firing on all cylinders against Exeter.
A complete game shutout from Kayla Medrano and a seven run fifth inning propelled the Vikings to a 10-0 Central Sequoia League victory over the Monarchs on March 29.
The game was shorten to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“We were consistent tonight,” Kingsburg head coach Randy Sieger said. “We scored in every inning but one, so we hit the ball real consistent.”
The Vikings improved to 13-2-1 overall and 4-1 in CSL play, which puts Kingsburg in a three-way tie for first place (as of press time) with Selma (10-4, 4-1 CSL) and Dinuba (15-2, 4-1 CSL) in the league standings.
Through four innings, the Vikings held onto a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Kingsburg went one time through the lineup with Marissa Montelongo getting the first and last at-bats of the frame.
The Vikings scoring binge in the inning started with a solo home run from Montelongo. Her fourth homer of the season was a shot that over the center field fence.
Despite hitting the second most home runs on team so far this season, Montelongo doesn’t consider herself as a power hitter.
“When I hit home runs, it’s just luck,” Montelongo said. “It’s a lucky hit that I squared up on good, but when it comes it comes.”
Two batters later, Maddie Alves added to the Vikings lead with an RBI double to left field that scored Marissa Gonzalez from second. Alves would later score on an error.
Mia Estrada added to Kingsburg’s run total to seven with an RBI single that scored Caitlyn Vela.
After Jerralyn Lopez was substituted as a pinch runner for Estrada, Shelby Reed reach first on a single and Carla Duarte advanced on a fielder’s choice. Montelongo received her second at-bat of the inning with the bases loaded.
With two outs in the inning, the junior hit a ground ball to Monarchs’ second baseman Faith Rocha, who committed a fielding error on the play.
The ball rolled all the way to the outfield, allowing enough time for Lopez, Reed and Duarte to score for the win.
“I just tried to hit something through,” Montelongo said about her final at-bat. “Make them make a mistake and just do the best I can to score the other runs.”
For Medrano, a transfer from Exeter, it was her first time pitching against her former school and it was a start she made the most out of.
In a shorten game, the sophomore allowed three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in five innings.
As a freshman, Medrano was part of last year’s Monarchs’ team that won the Central Section Division IV championship.
Even though she was part of a successful team at Exeter, Medrano loves the environment at Kingsburg.
“I love this team,” Medrano said. “We have a great bond, we work together and just a strong overall team and I love it.”
As a starter, Medrano improved to 8-1 with a 1.64 ERA. The complete game shutout was her season of the year. Her first complete game shutout this season occurred against Clovis East in a 7-0 non-league win on March 29.
Medrano has gone the distance in six of her nine starts this season.
“She’s getting stronger every week,” Sieger said about Medrano. “She’s pitched against some of the best teams in the Valley and she’s done well.”
Kingsburg last played Selma in a road game at Duran Diamond on Tuesday, but the game was suspended in the third inning due to inclement weather. The game will continue today at 4 p.m. with the Vikings up 4-3 in the bottom of the third inning.
The Vikings will play on the road against Immanuel (2-10-1, 0-5 CSL) on Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. After, Kingsburg will host Hanford West (11-6, 4-2 CSL) in a possible pivotal CSL matchup on April 9.