Section 1AAA Softball: Tigers sent packingThe defensive troubles that plagued the Farmington softball team earlier in the season came back to bite the Tigers in the Section 1AAA tournament.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
The defensive troubles that plagued the Farmington softball team earlier in the season came back to bite the Tigers in the Section 1AAA tournament.
Northfield had just three hits off Amanda Karppi in Monday night’s consolation semifinal at Todd Park in Austin, but the Raiders capitalized on a pair of fourth-inning errors with four runs and advanced in the bracket with a 5-3 win.
In all, the Tigers committed four errors and had just six hits. They finished the season with a record of 14-10 after winning three of five games in the section tournament. Three of their losses came to the Raiders, who also swept them 8-7 and 5-1 during the Missota Conference season.
“I think this team had a lot of potential and ability, we just weren’t able to put it all together,” Farmington coach Heather Ballstadt said. “We had a lot of physical and mental errors that hurt us. We came back and hit the ball well at the end of the season like I knew they could. It was nice to see them come back and take the lead as seniors in this last game and show what they could do.”
Karppi held Northfield to three hits in six innings in her final career start. Offensively, senior Sarah Gunderson provided an RBI single that followed Sam Jensen’s leadoff triple and gave the Tigers the lead in the first inning. Gunderson also hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth that scored senior Kirstee Rotty, who led off the rally with a base hit.
Senior Sydney Silk supplied what was, at the time, a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the fourth and senior No. 5, Amanda Kepler, wrapped up her second season as a regular in the outfield.
The Tigers advanced to Monday’s consolation semifinal by rallying past Winona last Friday.
Trailing 4-3 heading into the top of the seventh, the top of the lineup produced four straight hits and a 6-4 victory.
Jensen started the inning with a solo home run to tie the score. Shannon Doherty followed with a double and Dani Muelken brought her in as the go-ahead run with a triple. Kelsey Betzold followed with a single to produce an insurance run.
“It was very nice to see the top of the order come through with those big hits,” Ballstadt said. “It was a pretty ideal inning.”
Jensen finished 4 for 4 and Betzold, Silk and Karppi each added two hits as part of a 14-hit offensive attack.
Karppi took advantage of the run support and scored the complete-game victory. She held the Winhawks to four runs (none earned) on six hits while striking out seven.
The Tigers opened play in the consolation bracket Friday after falling 9-5 to fourth-seeded Owatonna on Wednesday. The offense failed to get on the board in the first three innings against host Austin, but eight Packer errors opened the floodgates in an eventual 10-0 rout.
Doherty, Silk and Kepler each had singles and Nekowitsch led the way with two RBI.
Karppi tossed six innings of three-hit ball to pick up the decision. She walked two and struck out two.