08 June 2012

Softball: Betzold smacks two homers; Tigers out at state

Ashley Betzold tied a state tournament record with 2 home runs in a game (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Ashley Betzold tied a state tournament record with a pair of home runs but it wasn't quite enough in 4-3 extra-inning loss to Bloomington Jefferson in the consolation finals of the Class AAA tourney played Friday morning in Mankato.

The defeat eliminated the Tigers, 11-0 losers to Stillwater in the opening round, from the double-elimination tourney.

Strikeouts and fielding miscues continued to haunt the Section 1AAA champions. Tiger hitters fanned 14 times against  the Jaguars' Hannah Evavold, giving the locals 25 punch outs in their two games at state.

"When you make it down here (Mankato), you're going to see the best pitching in the state," coach Paul Harrington said. "That's a given."

Farmington also continued to have its problems in the field, committing six errors to give the defense a whopping 10 errors in two games. Eleven of the 14 runs scored by the opposition during that span were unearned.

Jefferson scored a run in the top of the first inning but Betzold tied the count in the bottom of the inning when she led off with a solo home run.

The Jaguars made it 3-1 in the third inning but once again Betzold countered with another long ball to make it a one-run game.

Taylor Yousse RBI single in the 4th (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington knotted the score in the fourth when Taylor Haakana reached on an infield error, moved to third on another Jefferson miscue and raced home on Taylor Yousse's single.

The Jaguars threatened in the seventh, leaving  runners on second and third, before scoring the game-winner in the top of the eighth on a walk and a double by Emily Carr.

Betzold pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up just one earned run on six hits. The junior righthander struck out three and walked four.

At the plate, Betzold was a perfect 2-2 with a pair of walks to go with her homers. Yousse had the only other Farmington hit.

The 0-2 run at state closed the books on an impressive 2012 season for the Tigers that included an overall record of 17-6, their first Section 1AAA championship in nine years and a share of the Missota Conference title.

The game was also the last in a Tiger uniform for four seniors: Haakana, captain Allie Rice, Erin Wurst and Brooke Searles.