Niles catcher Hannah Porterfield catches the ball and prepares to tag out a Portage Northern runner at Vella Park Wednesday afternoon. The Vikings swept the Huskies 11-2 and 15-5. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Vikings sweep Huskies

Published 11:23pm Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A much needed pair of victories is exactly what the Niles softball team got against visiting Portage Northern Wednesday.

Making up the Big 16 West Division doubleheader from the previous day, the Vikings showed no mercy against the Huskies in winning 11-2 and 15-5.

Niles dominated both games, finishing the day with 21 hits and 26 runs.

The Vikings also got a pair of solid pitching performances from Molly VanDerKeere in the first game and Megan McKeel in the nightcap. For McKeel it was her first action in the circle since returning from an injury.

VanDerKeere scattered 10 hits and struck out three in going the distance.

Portage Northern scored a pair of runs in the first inning, but didn’t mount much of a threat after that.

Niles was baffled by the Huskies’ Ashley Dentler for the first three innings, but finally figured her out in the fourth.

The Vikings scored six runs in that inning and then went on to tack on five more to earn the easy victory.

Sarah Cramer, Hannah Porterfield and Abby McKeel all had doubles for Niles, which finished with 11 hits.

In the second game, McKeel allowed seven hits. She struck out a pair.

Tala Gentry had a home run in the Vikings’ 10-run first inning. Morgan Richer added a double for Niles, which had 10 hits.

Dentler and Erin Matunas both homered for Portage Northern, which trailed 14-0 after three innings.

“We needed this,” first-year Niles coach Ryan Frontczak said. “I am so happy for the girls. This will give us some relief. They have been practicing hard and working hard.

“We still need to learn how to finish games. We have just got to get better at finishing a team off when we have them down.”

First game

Northern 200 000 0 – 2 10 3

Niles 000 605 x – 11 11 1

Molly VanDerKeere (W) and Hannah Porterfield; Ashley Dentler (L) and Emily Christianson

2B: Sarah Cramer (N), Porterfield (N), Abby McKeel (N)

Second game

Northern 000 23 – 5 7 3

Niles (10)31 01 – 15 10 1

Megan McKeel (W) and Hannah Porterfield; Ashley Dentler and Erin Matunas

2B: Horton (PN), Mogan Richer (N),

HR: Dentler (PN), Matunas (PN), Tala Gentry (N)

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