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Softball: Big seventh moves Tigers to 2-0

Farmington pitcher Ashley Betzold fires a pitch during a 5-1 win over Red Wing.

So far, so good for the Rob Laden era.

The Farmington softball team, led by its first-year coach, came away with a pair of victories over Missota Conference rivals Hutchinson and Red Wing in the first two games of the 2010 season last week.

The Tigers held on for a 5-3 win over Hutchinson last Wednesday, then used a four-run top half of the seventh inning to secure a 5-1 win Friday at Red Wing.

Freshman pitcher Ashley Betzold picked up the winning decision in both games. She shut out Red Wing for five innings before the Wingers tied the game and loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth. The Tigers got out of the jam still clinging to a tie game when second baseman Alyssa Hagan snagged a line drive and threw to first baseman Kelsey Betzold for a double play.

The Tigers carried the momentum from their big defensive stand into the top of the seventh. Freshman pinch hitter Sunny Orndorff led off the inning with a double, moved to third with one out and scored on senior Sam Jensen's go-ahead suicide squeeze.

Farmington out-hit Red Wing, 7-6. Catcher Dani Muelkin was 2 for 3 with an RBI triple, Shannon Doherty had a single and a walk and Kelsey Betzold went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Ashley Betzold worked all seven innings and held Red Wing to one run while walking just one and striking out seven.

Jensen's bases-clearing double broke a 1-1 fourth-inning tie in Wednesday's season-opening win.

The reigning metro hitting leader went 3 for 4 in the opener with four RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Paige Lindrud and Alyssa Kalmes also reached with hits and came around to score as the Tigers used their bats to overcome four fielding errors.

Ashley Betzold allowed six hits and two walks while striking out four.

The Tigers (2-0) play again tonight when they travel west for a game against Prior Lake.