Softball Tigers hold the Mayo – for 4 innings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Nicole Rafdal was mowing down the Rochester Mayo Spartans, allowing only one hit and a walk while facing 14 batters through the first four innings.

Things took a turn for the worse in the fifth. They didn’t get much better in the sixth and seventh.

Visiting Mayo scored five runs in the fifth and five more through the final two innings to hand the tigers a 10-0 Big Nine Conference softball defeat at Hammer Field Tuesday.

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“Mentally, we need to get tough again,” said Tigers coach Sherrie Gayken. “We had the jitters today. Hopefully, we’ll get back to playing better ball Thursday.”

It couldn’t get much better than the first four innings Tuesday.

The Spartans had only one hit in the fifth but took advantage of the Tigers’ only three errors of the game and a wild pitch.

Therese Paczkowski replaced Rafdal in the sixth but had a rough start, loading the bases. Rafdal returned to the mound and finished the game there.

The Tigers had three hits and two walks while striking out eight times, a ratio Gayken said needs to improve dramatically.

“That’s too many strikeouts,” she said. “We need to be tougher with the bats, like we were early in the season.”

The Tigers, 1-3, play at Mankato East Thursday.