21 April 2014

Softball: Chaska hands Tigers first loss

Amber Doyle 2-4, RBI, Run (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Chaska made a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning hold up in a 3-2 win over the Tigers Monday afternoon in Chaska. The loss was the first of the season for Farmington (3-1).

"Although we got down quickly, our girls never quit and we pushed a run across in the fourth and seventh innings," coach Paul Harrington said. "We had the tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first with two out in the seventh, but their centerfielder saved the game for them with a diving catch."

The Tigers scored their fourth inning run when Amber Doyle reached on an error, moved up when Emily Berdan was hit by a pitch and scored on Ashley Ibinger's single.

In the seventh inning rally, Carly Esselman reached on a two-base error and scored on Doyle's single. Pitcher Maddie Muelken followed with single to set up the two-out drama. Ibinger hit the ball on the nose but the Hawk centerfielder left her feet to make a diving catch and end the game.

The Tigers had a season-low five hits with Doyle accounting for two of them in her four plate appearances.

"Their pitcher threw well and was the hardest thrower we have seen in a game this year," Harrington said. "Overall, we had too many strikeouts and we will need to be better prepared the next time we face them."

Muelken went the distance in the circle for the Tigers, allowing just three hits.

"Maddie shut the door after the first inning and kept us in the game," Harrington said. "It was a tough battle, one of many we are expecting this year."

The next one comes Wednesday when the Tigers host Shakopee at Tiger Field.