23 May 2012

Softball: On to the Final Four

Erin Wurst 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Winona scored first and last but in between it was all Farmington as the Tigers advanced to the Section 1AAA Final Four with a 9-2 victory over the Winhawks Wednesday afternoon at Tiger Field.

Seventh-seeded Winona defeated Rochester Century 10-0 earlier in the day while No. 2 Farmington sat out the opening round with a bye.

"There are four teams left and I honestly think the section is wide open," Tiger coach Paul Harrington said. "It's sounds simple to say but the team that plays better and makes fewer mistakes the rest of the way will win it. I don't see any dominant team."

The Winhawks touched Tiger ace Ashley Betzold for three hits and a run in the first tinning but the lead lasted all of five batters as Toni Hunsinger's two-run single in the bottom of the inning opened the flood gates for six Farmington runs.

Ashley Betzold 12 strikeouts (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington sent 11 hitters to the plate in their first at-bat and six of them--Hunsinger, Betzold, Amber Doyle, Taylor Haakana, Taylor Yousse, Erin Wurst and Hailey Monroe--getting base hits. Wurst's hit was a triple driving in two runs.

The winners added solo runs in the second, third and fourth innings to build a 9-1 bulge before the visitors used a single and a two-base error to score their final run in the seventh.

Betzold was in control all the way in the circle, finishing with 12 strikeouts. The junior righthander scattered five hits, walked two and allowed just one earned run.

Farmington finished with 13 hits off two Winona pitchers with each player in the starting lineup collecting at least one. Doyle, Betzold, Wurst and Allie Rice rapped two apiece. Wurst and pinch- runner Molly Berdan each scored a pair of runs.

The Tigers (14-4) open the double-elimination Final Four tournament against sixth-seeded Rochester Mayo (10-10) Friday evening at Todd Park in Austin. Rochester John Marshall and defending state champion Hastings also made the Final Four field.