10 May 2013

Softball: Storm damage

Molly Berdan singled in a run in the second game (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Heading into Thursday's doubleheader at Chanhassen the unbeaten Tigers were sharing the Missota Conference driver's seat with Shakopee.

But after dropping both ends of the twin bill to the Storm, 2-1 and 3-2, they slid over to the passenger side of the conference race car.

The losses also snapped a 10-game winning streak for Farmington (10-3).

"Two pretty games today," Tiger coach Paul Harrington said, "but when you play on a field with 185-foot fences, you have to score more than three runs.

"We swung at some bad pitches in the first game and in the second game we hit the ball better but it seemed we hit a lot of balls right at people."

In the first game Storm junior righthander Elin Ellefson limited the Tigers to just one hit, a single by Ashley Betzold in the fourth, and no earned runs in the complete game victory.

"I don't think the pitching was any different than we've seen," Harrington said. "We just weren't very disciplined at the plate."

Jordyn Keprios scored the Farmington run in Game One (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Jordyn Kerpos scored the Farmington run in the fourth after reaching on an infield error. She scored on another Storm error on Taylor Yousse's bunt.

Betzold handled the pitching chores for the Tigers, scatting six hits, striking out five and walking one in absorbing her third loss of the season.

Ellefson got the Storm off to a quick start in the nightcap when she homered just over the 185-feet marker in left in the first inning.

The visitors countered with a run in the bottom of the inning on a hit by Carly Esselman, Yousse's sacrifice and a run-scoring single by Betzold and then took the lead in the second on back-to-back hits by Maddie Muelken and Molly Berdan.

The Storm answered with two of their own in top of the third to close out the scoring.

Farmington had base runners in three of the final four frames but could not come up with the big hit when needed  most.

Betzold went the distance in the circle in game two, surrendering eight hits and two earned run.

The Tigers host Section 1AAA rival Rochester Century on Friday and then close the regular season next week with a pair of conference doubleheaders, Tuesday at Chaska and Thursday at home versus Shakopee.

'Winning the conference is nice, but what I want to see is us playing our best ball at the end of the season," Harrington said. "Our  primary goal is always to win the section and get to the state tournament."