11 May 2012

Softball: Down...but not out

Taylor Yousse 2-3, RBI, R (photo by Jim Lindquist)
When the Tiger bus left New Prague Thursday evening following a humbling 9-2 loss to the Trojans it looked like they were out of the race for the Missota Conference championship.

By the end of the day, however, they were back in the chase. Northfield's 3-2 win over Shakopee left Farmington and Chanhassen tied atop the league standings with 9-3 records and Shakopee a half game back at 8-3.

"We play Chanhassen at home next Tuesday and the loser of that one is probably out of the hunt," Tiger coach Paul Harrington said. "We will need to be more prepared to play than we were against New Prague.

The fired-up Trojans scored a pair of runs in the home half of the first and even though the Tigers answered with a pair of their own in the second, Harrington could see New Prague had come to play.

"Give them the credit," he said. "They had a lot of hits and hit a lot of balls that forced us into errors. We were in trouble all game. They had at least one runner in scoring position in every inning....They were waiting for us on their home field and they took it to us"

The Trojans took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning and locked it away with four more scores in the sixth.

The winners roughed up Tiger starter Ashley Betzold for 14 hits and the Farmington defense compounded the problem with four costly errors.

Allie Rice and Taylor Yousse had two hits apiece to account for half of Farmington's eight-hit total. Yousse knocked in one run and scored another. Brooke Searles drove in the seventh inning run with a double.

The Tigers will be looking for a big crowd and to take advantage of their home field in Tuesday's showdown with Chanhassen. Game time is 4:30 at Tiger Field.