KINGSBURG - The Kingsburg Vikings struggled in all facets of the game on March 21, losing 10-2 at home to the Dinuba Emperors in a Central Sequoia League game.
Defensively, the Vikings committed a season-high six errors and its 10 runs allowed is the most Kingsburg has given up all year. The two runs were the second fewest the Vikings have scored this season.
“We’re still a really young team,” Kingsburg coach Randy Sieger said. “We’ve had more games than we had practices now, so we have some things to work on. We’re a much better team than the way we’ve played tonight, but they outplayed us...We’re just going to chalk it up as one of those nights.”
The game was on the verge of ending in the sixth with the 10-run mercy rule in effect. Dinuba was up 10-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
“I think we were a little antsy in this game,” Vikings first baseman Brianna Vela said. “We wanted it so badly, that we were just swinging at anything trying to hit for the fence.”
Vela knocked in one of Kingsburg’s runs with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Earlier in the same inning, Taryn Irigoyen scored the Vikings first run of the game after advancing to home plate on a error.
Vela, a sophomore, was Kingsburg’s only player with multiple hits. The first baseman went 3-for-3 and she knocked in a run for the sixth straight game. As of press time, Vela has an eight-game RBI streak.
In six of her past seven games, Vela has had at least two hits.
As team, Kingsburg got out hit 15-9 by Dinuba.
In the first inning, the Emperors opened the game with a leadoff single and a player advancing to first on an error, but Vikings pitcher Kayla Medrano struck out the next three batters.
Medrano was on her way to pitching a scoreless inning in the second until Dinuba put five-straight runners on base. With two outs left in the second, Dinuba got on the board after Kingsburg committed two errors that allowed Hailee Zapien to scored from first.
Acevedo (RBI single) and Alexa Garcia (two-run double) proceeded to extend the Emperors lead to 4-0.
Dinuba went on to score two runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.
“We’re definitely a better team than that and we all know that,” Kingsburg catcher Marissa Gonzalez said. “Next game, we just have to have a tight [defense] the whole time.”
The loss broke a five-game winning streak for Kingsburg and it dropped the Vikings to 9-2-1 overall and 2-1 in CSL play. Dinuba improved to 13-1 overall and 3-1 against league opponents.
“We’ll regroup,” Sieger said. “We know we’re a much better team than this, so we’ll come back.”
Through the first two weeks of league play, Selma (9-4, 3-1 in CSL) and the Emperors stand atop of the CSL standings.
As of press time, the Vikings and Exeter (8-3, 2-1) are tied for third place in the CSL with a half game behind of the top two teams.
This past Saturday, Kingsburg rebounded from the loss after playing two different teams in San Luis Obispo County.
In its first game at the central coast, the Vikings defeated San Luis Obispo High School 16-1. Kingsburg second baseman Marissa Montelongo had the biggest hit of the game with a grand slam. It’s her second home run of the season.
The Vikings played Nipomo in its second game of the afternoon. Kingsburg defeated the Eagles 6-2 in eight innings behind multi-hit RBI performances from Vela and Gonzalez. Vela and Gonzalez each knocked in two runs. Medrano (7-1) was the winning pitcher after tossing a complete game. The sophomore threw eight innings with four strikeouts and allowed two runs (one unearned).
As of press time, Kingsburg’s overall record is 11-2-1.
The Vikings last played Central Valley Christian (7-3, 0-2 in CSL) on Tuesday (after press time).
Kingsburg is scheduled to host Exeter on Friday. Last year, the Vikings swept the season series against the Monarchs. First pitch is set for a 4 p.m. start.
Next week, the Vikings have a rivalry matchup with Selma on April 2. The two teams split the season series last year with Kingsburg winning the season finale 10-3. That win gave the Vikings its first win over the Bears since 2014. The victory also earn Kingsburg a co-CSL championship.