Softball: Weekend ends on high noteFarmington’s offense was ready for a breakout game by the end of Saturday’s Lakeville North Invitational. The Tigers opened the tournament with an 8-0 loss to host North and an 11-1 setback to Prior Lake before scoring a season-high 10 runs in an 10-1 win over New Prague at Aronson Park.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington’s offense was ready for a breakout game by the end of Saturday’s Lakeville North Invitational.
The Tigers opened the tournament with an 8-0 loss to host North and an 11-1 setback to Prior Lake before scoring a season-high 10 runs in an 10-1 win over New Prague at Aronson Park.
“We did not start out the tournament playing very well. We had a combined nine errors in the first two games. We were also playing some very good teams,” Farmington coach Rob Laden said. “The win over New Prague allowed us to leave on a positive note.”
The Tigers (5-7) took the lead right away in their second game against the Trojans this season, scoring in the first inning on an Ashley Betzold single, an Aleah Williamson double and an Alyssa Kalmes suicide squeeze bunt.
Betzold got the offense going again in the third with a leadoff double. Williamson followed with her second double of the game to score Betzold and Kalmes and Allie Rice added RBI hits to make it 4-0.
The Tigers put the Trojans away with five more runs on six hits in the fourth inning. Rachel Brietich and Betzold started the frame with a pair of hits and both came around to score on Toni Hunsinger’s double. Kalmes, Taylor Yousse and Erin Wurst each added RBI hits.
Hunsinger capped the scoring with another RBI double in the fifth.
That was more than enough support for Betzold, who held New Prague to one run on five hits while striking out three.
Lakeville North Tournament
Betzold was called for 14 illegal pitches in Saturday’s tournament opener against Lakeville North. That helped the Panthers plate three runs on one hit in the first inning and, with some additional aid from five Farmington errors, score seven unearned runs in an 8-0 shutout.
“(The umpire) was saying her feet were not staying in contact with the ground. Problem was there was a four-inch drop from the pitchers plate to the ground,” Laden said. “Over-umpiring at its finest.”
The Tigers managed just four hits — one apiece from Wurst, Kalmes, Betzold and Hagen.
Prior Lake racked up 15 hits and took advantage of four more Farmington errors in an 11-1 win in Game 2.
Betzold led the offense with two hits and pitched the first three inning before giving way to Hunsinger for the final four frames. Hunsinger drove in the Tigers’ lone run with an RBI double.
Hagen and Dani Muelken each added hits for Farmington.
The Tigers generated a combined 14 runs during back-to-back conference wins Tuesday and Wednesday, then managed just two hits over the first six innings of Thursday’s 5-3 home loss to rival Northfield.
The Raiders (8-4) led 5-0 through four and still held that advantage going into the bottom of the seventh. Yousse started the last half-inning with a single, then Hunsinger walked and Taylor Haakana was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Williamson followed with a bases-clearing double, but the game ended with the tying run at the plate.
Betzold allowed just five hits and one walk over seven innings.
Red Wing 6
The Tigers led an early four-run lead slip away, but held on for a 9-6, eight-inning win Wednesday afternoon in Red Wing.
With the game tied at 6-6, Muelken reached on an error to lead off the eighth. Another error and a bunt moved two runners into scoring position and Williamson came through with her second double of the night to score a pair. The third Wingers error of the inning scored Williamson and Betzold worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to seal the Tigers’ second straight win.
Williamson, Betzold, Yousse and Muelken each finished with two hits for the visitors.
Hunsinger started on the mound and allowed four runs before giving way to Betzold, who held the Wingers to one run over the final four innings while striking out five to get the win.
The Tigers are back in action tonight when they host a New Prague team they have already beaten twice this season by a combined score of 20-6. The team competes again tomorrow when it takes on Rochester Century and Owatonna at the Northfield Tournament.