Lakers end streakThe right arm of Brittany Lauterbach can claim the majority of the responsibility for ending Farmington's streak of six straight Missota Conference softball titles.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
The right arm of Brittany Lauterbach can claim the majority of the responsibility for ending Farmington's streak of six straight Missota Conference softball titles.
The Prior Lake sophomore was the losing pitcher when Farmington claimed a 4-2 victory in a season-opening matchup between the two Missota favorites back on April 15. However, the 11 strikeouts she recorded in that debut turned out to be a sign of things to come.
Lauterbach struck out 10 more in her next outing two days later, defeating Northfield, 9-2. That was the first of 13 straight league victories by the Lakers, seven of which came via shutouts by Lauterbach, who ended up yielding just two earned runs against conference opponents while striking out 186 in 19 games.
Farmington managed to keep pace as the only two Missota teams with one-loss records until they were two-hit and struck out 11 times in a critical 5-0 loss at Prior Lake on May 9. The Tigers lost two more games the following weekend at the Benilde-St. Margaret's Tournament, but didn’tgive up on league title No. 7 without a fight. They won their final four Missota games by a combined score of 50-10 to regain valuable momentum heading into this week's Section 1AAA Tournament at Todd Park in Austin.
"The girls were disappointed that we did not win conference. They knew that would have been No. 7," Farmington coach Heather Ballstadt said. "Prior Lake had a good team this year and probably in the next couple of years, too. You know when a team has a great pitcher it is hard to hit off of and that is our strength — hitting. The girls had a great season so far and we look forward to sections."
The Tigers, now 14-5 overall, earned the No. 1 seed in Section 1AAA and opened with the winner of No. 8 Owatonna and No. 9 Faribault Wednesday night. A win would advance them to play one of three Rochester schools — John Marshall, Century or Mayo — back in Austin Friday night. Another win Friday would move them to next Tuesday's semifinal where they'd likely play No. 2 Hastings or No. 3 Austin.
New Prague 0
Sam Jensen had four hits and Kelly Cooper, Shannon Doherty and Sarah Gunderson each added three hits in 13-0 rout of New Prague in a season finale Friday afternoon.
The Tigers padded their big lead with seven runs in the top of the seventh and finished with 16 hits. Cooper and Doherty each tripled and Gunderson ripped a pair of doubles.
Jensen contributed four singles — her fifth four-hit game of the season — and scored three runs. She finished the regular season 46 of 67 for a .687 batting average.
Junior pitcher Amanda Karppi held New Prague to a single hit over six innings to pick up her ninth win of the season. She walked none and struck out five in her first career shutout.
Red Wing 4
Senior Sam Ankrum came up with the biggest hit of her career in the final moments of last Thursday's 7-4 win over Red Wing.
With the Tigers trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Ankrum belted a walk-off grand slam, her first home run of the season, to seal the victory.
Ankrum and Jensen each finished with three hits, while Doherty and Gunderson each turned in two hits. Gunderson's RBI triple in the third inning gave her a team-leading 16 extra-base hits.
Morgan Tellinghusen got the pitching decision, working around eight hits and a pair of walks by striking out six over seven frames.
Holy Angels 6
The Tigers scored eight runs in the second inning and pushed across seven more in the top of the fifth to dispose of the Stars via 10-run rule last Tuesday.
Kirstee Rotty went 4 for 4 with three runs scored to pace the offense. Gunderson was 3 for 5 with a home run, a double and five RBIs and Jensen and Sabrina Siple each added three hits and three runs scored to help total a season-best 22-hit attack. Amanda Kepler also had three hits and Sydney Silk and Sam Doherty each added two.
Karppi allowed four earned runs on six hits, but stuck around all five innings in the win.
Regular Season Leaders
1. Sam Jensen, .687
2. Sarah Gunderson, .508
3. Shannon Doherty, .422
4. Sam Ankrum, .414
5. Sydney Silk, .388
1. Sam Jensen, 5
2. Sarah Gunderson, 3
3. Sabrina Siple, 2
4. Two tied with 1
1. Sarah Gunderson, 29
2. Sam Jensen, 19
3. Sam Ankrum, 18
4. Sydney Silk, 17
5. Kirstee Rotty, 11
1. Sam Jensen, 36
2. Sarah Gunderson, 26
3. Kirstee Rotty, 21
4. Shannon Doherty, 15
5. Sabrina Siple, 12