25 May 2013

Softball: Staying right on track

Amber Doyle 5 RBI in first two section games (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The top-seeded Tigers remained on track for a return trip to the state tournament with solid wins in their first two games in Section 1AAA post-season play.

Thursday at Tiger Field coach Paul Harrington's team dispensed with Rochester Century 10-0 in a game halted after five innings by the 10-run rule. Friday in Austin they advanced to the winners' bracket final with a 6-2 victory over Winona.

"We still have a ways to go," Harrington said. "We need to shore up our defense and be better at the little things that win ball games, but we are where we want to be right now."

Farmington (17-4) will now take on third-seeded Hastings (14-6) Tuesday in Austin. The Raiders defeated Rochester John Marshall 2-1 in their semifinal game.

In Friday's win over Winona, the Tigers broke up a scoreless tie with a big four-run second inning where they sent nine batters to the plate.

Maddie Muelken started the rally with a single, advanced on an error and scored on a single by Jordyn Keprios. After Carly Esselman reached on a fielder's choice, Taylor Yousse delivered a runs-scoring hit and Amber Doyle capped off the inning with a two-run single up the middle.

Ashley Betzold pitching win, 2-run homer vs. Winona (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington extended its lead to 6-0 in the fourth on a single by Yousse and Ashley Betzold's homer over the centerfield fence.

The Winhawks scored their runs in the top of the fifth on a walk and a two-run homer by catcher Justine Schultz.

Yousse had three hits in four trips to the plate to lead the nine-hit Farmington offense. Doyle and Betzold each had a pair of hits and two runs batted in.

Betzold pitched the complete game victory, allowing three hits while striking out five and walking one.

The Tigers advanced to Austin with the quarterfinal blowout win over Century, a 5-3 winner over Rochester Mayo, earlier in the day.

Farmington scored six times in the opening inning to put the game away early for Betzold who gave up two hits and struck out five in posting the shutout.

Doyle, Esselman, Keprios and Molly Berdan each had a pair of hits for the winners. Doyle drove in three runs and Esselman, Berdan and Keprios each rapped doubles.

The winner of Tuesday's game with Hastings advances to the championship round of the double elimination tournament. The finals are scheduled for Thursday back in Austin.

Taylor Yousse 3 hits, run vs. Winona (photo by Jim Lindquist