Before the season, all the talk of the AVCTL Division III softball championship centered on Augusta and McPherson High after the teams had finished 1-2 last year in Class 4A Division I and both had most of their key players back.
Nobody said a word about Winfield, which was populated with freshmen.
But by sweeping the Bullpups here Thursday to spoil their Senior Day, the Vikings claimed the league title with a 9-1 record, while MHS finished D-III play 6-4 and was 11-9 overall.
Winfield simply outslugged MHS in Game 1, 13-7. In Game 2, the Vikings doubled up the Bullpups 8-4 as head scratchingly the team’s defense continues to struggle and the bats haven’t quite resembled last year’s magical season.
In the first game, all appeared to be going MHS’ way as it led 2-0 after three innings behind the shutout pitching of Madison Hoffman. But the Vikings started to find the range in the fourth inning with a six-run outburst, and later had a pair of three-run innings. They finished the game with 16 hits.
Bailea Crist was a bright spot for MHS with a homer and triple.
MHS led the second game 4-3, but it was all Winfield after that as the Vikings scored the game’s final five runs. Crist took the loss and official batting stats were not available due to a computer error.
Since the Vikings’ varsity had so many freshmen — five started — their JV was no match for the Bullpups, who won 15-0 and 16-1.
Kenzie Goering and Elle Schrag were the winning pitchers. Goering had three hits in Game 1, with Schrag driving in three runs with two hits. Gracie Bruton also had two hits. In the second game, Teri Yates and Sierra Behrens drove in three runs apiece.
Boxes are not available today.
MHS will have next week off as it prepares for regional play May 19 at Andale.