|Team Alumni: First Row: (l to r) Paige Marschall, Rachel Ripley, Sydney Silk, Jamie Christopherson Second row: (l to r) Jess O'Leary, Sabrina Siple, Mal Betzold, Kelsey Betzold, Sam Jensen Not pictured: Dani Muelken|
Ten former Tigers returned to town to play in the first annual Alumni game played Saturday afternoon at Tiger Field against a team of current high school players. The veterans more than held their own but when all was said and done youth prevailed by a score of 2-1.
The alums took an early lead, scoring an unearned run in the top of the third but the prep players answered with solo scores in the third and fourth. Team Alumni put runners on first and second in the top of the seventh but relief pitcher Ashley Betzold wiggled out of the jam to seal the win.
Toni Hunsinger pitched the first two innings for the school-age team with Maddie Muelken and Hailey Franks working the third and fourth innings respectively. Betzold worked the final three frames.
|Former Tiger and St. Mary's University standout Mal Betzold lets it fly|
Mallory Betzold, the coach of the alumni team said her band of ex-Tigers, could probably have fared a little better if it had a little more pre-game preparation.
"Lack of practice," she bemoaned. "That definitely hurt us. We'll be more prepared next time."
Mallory's father and coach of the school team, Daren Betzold, said the alumni may have taken his team for granted.
"I think they may have come into the game thinking they could just step out on the field and win," he said. "It was really a pretty good game all around."
Although the returnees came up short on the scoreboard they had their moments. Mallory Betzold and Jamie Christopherson handled the pitching chores and gave up just two runs. Former all--state performer Sam Jensen showed she could still swing the bat, collecting two hits, including a double to right-center in the first inning.
|Jess O'Leary of the 2003 state Class AA runner-up team|
Rightfielder Rachel Ripley made the defensive play of the day with a running catch of in the sixth inning.
Darren Betzold, one of the primary organizers of the inaugural event, said he thought it went very well.
"The weather was great and we had a good turnout of parents who enjoyed watching their kids play again," he said. "I would like to see some of the older alumni there next year, possibly some of the kids off of the 2003 state tournament team."
Betzold said he plans to hold the second annual alumni game on the same weekend of August in 2013.