The La Monte Lady Vikings are on a roll.
They are 6-0 after dismissing St. Paul Lutheran 19-1 on a chilly Friday afternoon at home. La Monte scored 11 runs in the first inning and eight runs in the second to run-rule the visiting Lady Saints.
Madison Harris struck out six batters in three innings.
Clare Nebel singled down the third base line to score Grace Stumbaugh for the Lady Saints’ only run of the game.
Aggressive base running compliment La Monte’s contact hitting approach, and has generated gaudy numbers to start the season.
La Monte softball is averaging almost nine runs per game and has 53 steals on the season. They stole 19 bases Friday against St. Paul Lutheran.
Lady Vikings head coach Dabecka Kirk said an emphasis was placed on stealing bases going into the season.
“Every game that we have, our goal is to be more aggressive,” Kirk said. “And to push the limits to see what teams will give us and how far we can push ourselves.”
Sandra Arroyo and Katie Patrick are notorious offenders in the Lady Viking’s base-stealing assault, and a constant headache for opposing pitchers.
Arroyo, La Monte’s leadoff batter, consistently looks to steal second base after a walk if pitchers get too comfortable outside the circle. She began a 15-1 victory over Smithton last week in that very fashion, setting the tone for the rest of the offense.
Patrick said she and Kirk have “their own language” when it comes to base running, and it’s her favorite aspect of the game.
“I’ve been practicing with her for four years,” Patrick said. “It’s become my favorite part to me. I love base running.”
Another factor in La Monte’s speedy approach is the way a majority of the lineup conditioned: basketball. Arroyo, Patrick, Vada DeMotte, Madison Harris, Maya Martin, Kameron Morton and Maya Martin were among those who appeared in both Friday’s game and on the basketball roster.
Not only does playing multiple sports help with conditioning, Arroyo said, but it builds comradery.
“You’re at a small school,” Arroyo said. “A lot of us played all three sports – volleyball, basketball and softball … and a lot of us are even in the same body conditioning class. So we’re always working out and trying to stay fit.
“We’re competitive with each other. We’re always trying to beat each other out.”
La Monte faces Kingsville on the road Monday at 4:30 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2