28 May 2011

Softball: The one bad inning blues

Ashley Betzold (left) 3-4 (3B, 2 1B) vs. Mayo
Alyssa Hagen 2-3 vs. Mayo
(photos by Jim Lindquist)

One rough inning proved the difference in both games as the Tigers were eliminated from the Section 1AAA Final Four tournament after back-to-back losses to top-seeded Hastings and third-seeded Rochester Mayo Friday night, May 27, in Austin.
Hastings scored all of its runs in the second inning in a 5-0 shutout victory in the opener and Mayo rallied from a 3-2 deficit with a three-run sixth to pull out a 5-4 win in the consolation semifinals.
The losses closed the books on the 2011 season for the Tigers who finished with a 10-11 record and a fourth-place finish in the section tourney.
Hastings 5 Farmington 0
The Raiders, ranked third in the most recent Class 3A state poll, led off the second inning with a solo home run and then rapped four more hits off Tiger starter Ashley Betzold to score four more runs.
Hastings pitcher Treya Connell was dominant, piling up 16 strikeouts and surrendering just three singles, one each by Toni Hunsinger, Aleah Williamson and Taylor Haakana.
Betzold worked the first four innings in the circle, allowing five runs on six hits. Hunsinger came on in the fifth and threw two innings of shutout relief.
Farmington's only threat came in the sixth when Haakana and Williamson singled before Connell put out the fire with a timely strikeout.
"Hastings is one of the best teams in the state," Tiger coach Rob Laden said. "They play in a tough conference. We had the one bad inning but they don't give up many runs."
Rochester Mayo 5 Farmington 4
The Tigers started quickly, using a lead-off single by Betzold, a sacrifice by Alyssa Hagen and a run-scoring hit by Williamson to take a 1-0 lead in the first.
The Spartans answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the first and another score in the third to take a 2-1 lead after three innings.
The Tigers immediately responded with a two-run fourth that featured a single by Hunsinger, a walk to Alyssa Kalmes and a two-run double by Taylor Yousse.
The one-run Tiger lead lasted until the bottom of the sixth when Mayo used four hits and an infield error to plate three runs and re-take the lead at 5-3.
But the game was far from over. In the Farmington seventh, singles by Betzold and Hagen and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with two out. Dani Muelken reached on an infield error to score one run before Hunsinger's foul fly ended the game and the Tiger season.
The Tigers didn't want for chances. They finished with eight hits, including three by Betzold, two singles and triple, and two by Hagen but also had three runners erased on the base paths, one at third and two at the plate.
Betzold went the distance for Farmington and absorbed the pitching loss, giving up 10 hits and four earned runs.
"Our mistakes gave Mayo the win," Laden said. "In essence, it has been the story most of the year. A lot of potential but too many mistakes."