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Viqueens postseason run ends against LoMa

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 LOGAN — The Stanton Viqueens knew the challenges that faced them in the regional softball tournament last week.

They were a team that finished fourth in the Corner Conference with a 5-5 record and weren’t seeded well for the postseason.

With the uphill battles that Stanton faced, they focused on one thing.

“Our motto has been just have fun,” Stanton softball co-coach Lacey Stephens said.

Have fun they did! Stanton pulled off two upsets over Sidney and Essex to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2012.

The semifinals were where the season would end for the Viqueens (10-15) after their 13-0 loss in three innings to seventh-ranked in Class 1A Logan-Magnolia Friday night in Logan.

“We did that Monday with nothing to lose and Wednesday with nothing to lose,” Stephens said. “We came here knowing that this was a solid, well-rounded team.”

Stanton fell behind 3-0 in the first inning. The difference was the second inning when Logan-Magnolia scored 10 runs, the bulk of which came with two outs, to take a commanding lead.

Logan-Magnolia pitcher Abby Straight held Stanton hitless in the three innings, striking out six in the process.

“You just don’t see a team like this in the Corner [Conference],” Stephens said. “They are an excellent team.”

Heidi Vanderholm had the hardest hit ball during the second inning, which went into shallow right field when second baseman Megan Wilson leaped into the air to grab it, completing the third out.

It was the final game for several seniors, including infielders Vanderholm and Logan Wagg, as well as outfielder Lauren Stephens.

“They’re going to be hard to replace, that’s all I can say,” Stanton co-coach Brandie McFarlane said. “It’s going to be hard to lose those seniors.”

Despite the disappointing ending, Stanton was happy to make it as far as they did.

“We can’t hang our heads about anything,” Stephens said. “This week has been a fantastic week. It has been fun.”

Stanton scored arguably its biggest win of the season during the quarterfinals when they knocked off the Trojanettes 14-13. “This week has basically proven what Lacey and I thought. That we knew they could play like that,” McFarland said. “We just needed to get it out of them and they came through here at the end of the season and we couldn’t be prouder how they played Monday and Wednesday night.”

Stanton battled back from a multiple-run deficit several times. They trailed 13-12 in the top of the seventh when Stanton scored two runs, including the go-ahead run on a hit by Logan Wagg. The Viqueens held on to get the win, their first this season over the Trojanettes.

“We knew we were better than that and we proved it,” Stephens said.

Ally Focht and Devin Druivenga were both 2-for-4 to lead the team. Druivenga had two doubles, scored two runs and batted in two more. Focht had a double, a run scored and three RBIs.

Wagg was 1-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Mallorie Wookie went 1-for-1 with two walks and three runs scored.

Nicole Graham was 1-for-2 with a run scored, while Lauren Stephens was walked three times and scored three runs. Jody Vanderholm went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

The Viqueens began the regional tournament with a 9-2 victory over the Sidney Cowgirls in the first round, last Monday in Sidney.

Stanton played as home team for the game as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second inning and never looked back, scoring a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Chelsea Weis stepped up big for Stanton by going 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and one RBI.

Jody Vanderholm was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Stephens scored two runs, going 1-for-1 with two walks. Wookie and Druivenga both went 1-for-3.