13 June 2012

Softball: No wins but a valuable experience

Tiger softball coach Paul Harrington
Farmington's second-ever trip to the state softball tournament didn't produce any wins but according to first-year coach Paul Harrington the trip to Mankato provided a quality experience for all concerned.

"I think now that the kids have a taste of the state tournament, there is no doubt that getting back will be our No. 1 goal next year," he said.

"The experience we gained this year will  be invaluable. Not seeing everything for the first time would certainly help calm the nerves a bit."

The Tigers didn't get a hit in an 11-0 shutout loss to eventual champion Stillwater in the opening round and then lost a tough, 4-3 extra innings decision to consolation champion Bloomington Jefferson in the second.

"We played two awesome teams and really ran into a buzz saw in Stillwater," Harrington said. "They were at the top of their game at the right time.

"Jefferson was ranked no lower than fifth all year. We didn't play a real good game against them and still nearly won, leaving the wining run on second base twice in the late innings. If we make no errors, we win that game."

Despite the Tigers 0-2 mark at state, Harrington said he is proud of his team's accomplishments, both during the season and in the playoffs.

"Most teams, and thousands of kids, would be happy with our season," he said. "I have been to state enough times to know that even winning one game is quite an achievement.

"Last year I went with my best team ever (at Totino Grace), a team that certainly could have won it all. We lost two one-run games and barely won the third. Getting one win is not a very easy thing, let alone winning all three.

"Based on the tournament's structure, two teams will not win a game. This year, we just happened to be one of them."