It appears the balance of power has shifted in Inland Empire League softball.
For the past two years, Lake City High School has been the dominant softball team in the area. After being swept 3-0, 15-5 by Coeur d’Alene High in a Friday afternoon double-header, it appears the Vikings are the team to beat in 1997.
“It hurts down deep to lose to them; they’ve never swept us before,” LC center fielder Kim Budvarson said.
The Vikings (8-0 league, 11-4 over-all) cruised in the first game behind the pitching of freshman Blake Hoorelbeke. Hoorelbeke allowed just four hits while striking out six in the shutout. Vikings coach Larry Bieber was pleased with the performances of Hoorelbeke and freshman lead-off batter Patti Stranger.
“They’re young, but they’re very talented and it’s nice to see them rise to the occasion,” Bieber said.
Stranger scored the second of two runs the Vikings manufactured to take the lead in the third inning. In the inning, the Vikings used a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice to score all the runs Hoorelbeke (6-2) would need.
“Yesterday in practice Bieber said to act like it’s any other game, and we did,” Hoorelbeke said.
LC pitcher Courtney Zimmerman pitched effectively, allowing just two earned runs. The T-Wolves couldn’t produce anything offensively, though, and were hurt by three errors.
LC (0-4, 4-7) appeared to rebound early in the second game as it scored a pair of runs in the first inning off CdA pitcher Sarah Ballinger.
In the bottom of the first, the T-Wolves’ defense fell apart. LC committed a pair of errors and starting pitcher Amber Barnes (1-4) also hit two CdA batters that eventually led to the Vikings scoring eight runs in the inning.
“We committed too late and didn’t throw the ball to the bases on time. It drives me nuts because we’ve got good talent,” LC coach Dwight Wilson said.
Zimmerman (3-3) came in with two outs to relieve Barnes, but both the runners she inherited scored on a double by Stranger. None of the runs in the inning were earned, but the rally killed any momentum LC had gained in the top of the inning.
“The first game was a good one, but we got some timely hits in the second that helped us pull away early,” Bieber said.
Ballinger (4-1) settled down to pitch well after the rocky start, and the Vikings continued to take advantage of LC miscues on the way to a 10-run-rule victory in the sixth inning.
The T-Wolves committed six errors, leaving Budvarson to wonder what happened to the team defense.
“We have tons of talent, but we make mental errors that keep us from playing to our capability,” Budvarson said.
After being overshadowed by LC since the schools split, the Vikings are in control of the IEL after going undefeated so far in league play. Bieber was pleased with the performance of his team in the first meeting of the rivals this year.
“The girls played great,” Bieber said. “We swept all the others, so this is one we wanted to get.”
Coeur d’Alene 3-15, Lake City 0-5
LC 000 000 0 - 0 4 3
CdA 002 100 0 - 3 6 0
Zimmerman and Koll. Hoorelbeke and K. Babcock. W-Hoorelbeke (6-2). L-Zimmerman (3-3).
HITS: LC - Koll 2, Johnson, Hatrock. CdA - Lenz 2, Hoorelbeke, K. Babcock, Tatum, A. Stranger.
LC 210 020 x - 5 7 6
CdA 800 304 x - 15 12 4
Ballinger, C. Babcock (6) and K. Babcock. Barnes, Zimmerman (1) and Koll. W-Ballinger (4-1). L-Barnes (1-4).
Lakeland 15-14, Post Falls 1-1
Monica Hall pitched her second consecutive no-hitter as the Hawks (8-2) topped the visiting Trojans in the first game of a non-league doubleheader.
In the second game Annie Carhart singled, tripled, homered and had four RBIs.
Post Falls 010 00 - 1 0 7
Lakeland 641 4x - 15 10 2
Foster and Juhlin; M.Hall and Tweedy. W-M.Hall (4-0). L-Foster (0-1).
HITS: Lakeland-Tweedy, Huber, M.Hall, T.Hall, McBride, Foster, Smith, Nicholas, Carhart. 2B-Nicholas. HR-McBride.
Post Falls 100 00 - 1 7 6
Lakeland 103 28 - 14 12 0
Reed and Buffington; T.Hall and Tweedy. W-T.Hall (4-2). L-Reed.
HITS: Post Falls-Juhlin, Reed 2, Foster, Thompson 2, Buffington. Lakeland-Tweedy 2, Reisenauer, Huber 2, M.Hall 2, McBride, Carhart 3, Foster. 3B-M.Hall, Carhart. HR-Carhart.