Softball Tigers take 2 of 3

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 30, 2001

NEW RICHLAND – Some mistakes were made.

Monday, April 30, 2001

NEW RICHLAND – Some mistakes were made. But they were made up for.

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The Albert Lea High School softball team got strong pitching, solid hitting and, at times, outstanding defense to offset some fielding miscues while winning two of three games in Saturday’s Panther Invitational at New Richland.

&uot;We made some mistakes, but we got ourselves out of them with nice defensive plays,&uot; said Tigers coach Sherrie Gayken.

The Tigers’ lone loss was in the opener, when they committed five errors in falling 6-5 to host NRHEG. They bounced back to top Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 3-2 and, in the fifth-place game, they 10-runned Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 16-6 in five innings.

The first game was back and forth. The Tigers took a 5-4 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the Panthers answered with two in the bottom.

Only two of NRHEG’s runs were earned off the Tigers’ Rachel Tue, who scattered seven hits while pitching a complete game.

Amber Sickels was 3-for-3 with one RBI and two stolen bases. Laura Olson, Leah Boyer and Jerri Mondeel had one hit each. Rachel Chapek drove in a run.

The Tigers had trouble adjusting to a much slower WEM pitcher in game two. They broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the fourth. The Bucs scored their runs in the fifth.

Albert Lea totaled four hits, one apiece by Sickels, Chapek, Mondeel and Jenny Hovendick.

Tue pitched four innings for the victory in relief of Teresa Paczkowski, who started but developed a sore arm after two innings. Tue gave up two runs – neither earned – on one hit, with one walk and two strikeouts.

Game three was a slugfest.

&uot;They had a couple girls who could really hit the ball,&uot; said Gayken. &uot;We were more consistent.&uot;

The Tigers collected 15 hits, led by another three-hit performance from Sickels. Getting two hits each were Boyer, Ashley Chrz and Afton Delger, who’s been out of the lineup with a back injury. Amber Edwards and Ulve added one hit apiece. Amy Madsen drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Gayken said she was impressed with the entire team’s effort, especially Tue and Mondeel.

&uot;Tue ended up pitching three games, and she did a great job all day,&uot; said Gayken. &uot;Mondeel caught all three games. She was hit in the hand with a bat in the second game, and we DH’d for her after that, but she remained at catcher. To pitch and catch all three games is quite admirable for both.&uot;

The Tigers, 3-5 overall, host Mankato East today at 5 p.m.