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Softball: Offense falters in tournament

Alyssa Kalmes swings at a pitch during the Tigers' 1-0 section tournament win over Rochester John Marshall.

Despite striking out 15 times and collecting just five hits, Farmington managed to squeak out a 3-2, 11-inning victory over seventh-ranked Prior Lake back on May 19.

The Tigers scored just three runs total in their final two games of the regular season after that -- both losses -- and the offense never got back into a groove in the Section 1AAA Tournament. First-year head coach Rob Laden's squad opened the tourney with a 1-0 home victory over Rochester John Marshall last Wednesday, but couldn't come up with the big hit in back-to-back 3-2 losses to Rochester Mayo and Winona Friday at Todd Park in Austin.

Mayo and Winona met Tuesday with the winner advancing to a finals date with Hastings. The Tigers, who finished third in the Missota Conference and earned the third seed in the section, bowed out with a 13-10 record. The program has gone a combined 27-20 the last two years after accumulating a combined 66-26 record over the previous four seasons.

"The team had a good season. We improved as the season progressed," Laden said. "We could of easily won the Rochester Mayo game and the Winona game. They were both one-run games where one mistake costs you the ball game."

All three of Winona's runs were unearned in Friday's 3-2 loss. The Winhawks scored once in the third and twice more in the fifth to build a 3-0 lead against Farmington pitcher Ashley Betzold, who allowed eight hits and walked one while striking out four over seven innings.

Betzold and Alyssa Hagen each went 1 for 3 with an RBI. Alyssa Kalmes doubled and scored and Sam Jensen went 2 for 3 in her final game as a prep.

The Tigers played errorless defense in the first game of the day, but the offense managed just four hits in a 3-2 loss to Rochester Mayo.

Betzold allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings while also providing two of the team's hits.

Kalmes added a double and a run scored and Megan Nekowitsch knocked the team's fourth hit.

Betzold opened section play with a three-hit shutout of Rochester John Marshall Wednesday in Farmington.

Betzold struck out eight en route to her third shutout of the season. She was given the lead when Taylor Haakana doubled and scored the game's lone run in the bottom of the third.

Haakana was 2 for 2 and Dani Muelken was 3 for 3 with a double.