15 May 2013

Softball: Tigers sweep Hawks; Shakopee next

Jordyn Keprios, 2 hits, started game-winning rally (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The Tigers stayed in the race for 2013 Missota Conference title with an 8-3, 6-5 doubleheader sweep of Chaska Tuesday afternoon in Chaska.

The wins upped Farmington's Missota Conference record to 10-2 and set up a Thursday  doubleheader showdown with league-leading Shakopee at Tiger Field.

"Overall it was a very draining day due to the heat (95 degrees)," coach Paul Harrington said.  "The kids were mentally tough and worked their way through it.

"To have Ashley (Betzold) pitch all 14 innings in that kind of heat was phenomenal. She stepped up and gave us a chance to win both games. Her pitching and our timely hitting were the difference."

The opener came easy as Betzold allowed just three hits and the potent Farmington offense rapped 11 hits.

Emily Berdan 2B,3B in Game One (photo by J. Lindquist)
Betzold, Carly Esselman, Kendall Novak and Emily Berdan each rapped a pair hits for the winners. Both of Berdan's hits were for extra bases, a double and a triple. She, Novak and Ashley Ibinger each scored a pair of runs and Beztold and Esselman each drove in two.

Game two was much more of a nail-biter that featured two comebacks from the visitors. Chaska took the lead with a three-run third only to have Farmington answer with three of its own in the bottom of the inning.

The Hawks regained the lead with a two-run fifth but once against the Tigers came right back to tie things up in their next at-bat.

Farmington scored the game-winner in the home half of the seventh when Jordyn Keprios singled. Pinch-runner Jordyn Homeier moved up to second on Ibinger's sacrifice, advanced to third on Esselman's single and scored when Taylor Yousse reached on an infield error.

"We refused to lose that game," Harrington said. "They (Chaska) left 11 runners on base. Ashley always got the big out when we needed it."

Keprios led the Farmington offense in the nightcap with a pair of hits

The one area of concern in the doubleheader was the defense. The Tigers committed 10 errors in the twinbill, six in the second game alone.

"That was unacceptable," Harrington said, "and we will be working to correct that. We won't go anywhere in the section without playing great defense."

Following Thursday's conference showdown with Shakopee, the Tigers open Section 1AAA play next Wednesday at Tiger Field.