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Farmington shortstop Taylor Yousse throws to first for an out during a recent home game.

Farmington softball: Tigers win four of five

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Every week this season there has been one game where the Farmington softball team’s bats have gone silent.

The Tigers opened the season by scoring 34 runs in three games, all victories, before losing a 3-2 pitcher’s duel to Chaska. After a week of rainouts, the team plated 31 runs while clobbering Holy Angels and Northfield, but in between was shut out by New Prague. Last week, the Tigers scored 15 runs while sweeping a doubleheader at Red Wing and 11 in defeating Owatonna, and then didn’t plate a run until the seventh inning in a 3-1 loss to Shakopee on Saturday.

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Monday’s doubleheader against league-leading Chanhassen was rained out, keeping the Tigers at 9-3 overall and tied for third at 6-3 in the Missota heading into the final week of their abbreviated regular season.

“Overall, it seems like in most games this year it is all or nothing. We were on the lean side (against Shakopee),” Farmington coach Paul Harrington said. “We had only one hit going into the sixth inning. We needed to wake up our bats earlier. In games. When we do that, things seem to go real well.”

Amber Doyle doubled and scored the Tigers’ lone run in the bottom of the seventh. Shakopee produced three runs on six hits against starter Maddie Muelken.

“It was a game of good defense and good pitching,” Harrington said. “They just put things together and got a couple more runs than we did.”

The rest of the week, it was the Tigers scoring most of the runs. Six players had at last two of the team’s 16 hits in an 11-5 rout of Owatonna Friday.

Molly Berdan was 3 for 4 with a two-run double in the second inning and four RBI. Doyle had a two-run single in the first and finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs, as well. Carly Esselman, Ashley Ibinger, Emily Berdan and Jordyn Keprios each had two hits.

Meghan Silber got the start and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings. Owatonna plated four runs in the sixth before Muelken came in to end the rally, yielding just one hit over the final 1 2/3.

“It was a bit of a slugfest, as we had 16 hits and they had 13 hits. Our pitchers got out of some jams to keep the opponent's score down,” Harrington said. “On the other hand, our team had some very timely hitting again to knock in a lot of runs. That was the difference in the game.”

The Tigers showed up to hit the day before against Red Wing, as well. The first five batters recorded hits in Game 1 and four scored in an eventual 10-3 win over the Wingers.

Doyle clubbed a two-run home run during the first inning and Esselman capped the scoring with her first career varsity home run in the sixth. Esselman and Muelken each finished with three hits and Doyle, Ibinger and Keprios knocked two apiece.

Muelken fanned eight over six innings to pick up the win in the circle.

The Tigers strung together all five of their hits and plated five runs in the first three innings of a 5-3 victory in Game 2.

Esselman and Ibinger were each 2 for 3.

Muelken struck out four and notched her second win of the day. She was backed by a defense that turned two double plays.

The Tigers opened the week by scoring four in the first, six in the second and seven in the third in a 17-1 rout of Northfield.

The Raiders hurt their own cause with seven errors.

Muelken and Ibinger each had a pair of hits and two RBI.

Silber struck out three over five innings.

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Matt Steichen
Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
(651) 460-6606
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