14-and-under softball team has fantastic finish

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 27, 2002

The Albert Lea 14-and-under fast-pitch softball team finished its season with three wins in four games against two teams headed for the state tournament.

First, the team hosted Owatonna in a doubleheader.

Game one was a see-saw battle with the home team ending up on top 8-7. Liz Thompson struck out two Owatonna batters in getting the pitching win. She also led the team at the plate as she bad three hits, all for extra bases, and scored two runs. April Balsley, Marissa Cottrell and Evin Sather contributed one hit each. Claire Paczkowski played a solid game at her second base position, handling nine chances without an error.

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The second game also went to Albert Lea by an 11-3 margin.

Dezi Jacobs was the winning pitcher with last-inning help from Sather. Hali Hendrickson led the offense with two safeties. Paczkowski, Cottrell, Cara Thorn, Thompson and Balsley all added one hit and Katherine Ladwig scored two runs.

The sweep gave Albert Lea a perfect 4-0 record against Owatonna for the season.

Southland provided the opposition two nights later.

The local team came away with a thrilling 5-4 win in the first game.

Trailing 3-0 after the first inning, the young Tigers used the bunt to come back and take the lead after four innings. Southland tied it in the top of the fifth before Missy Webb led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. She was sacrificed to third on a well executed bunt-and-run play by Chelsea Barrett. The Southland defense chose not to make a throw, holding Webb at third base on another perfect bunt by Ladwig. Webb scored the winning run on a wild pitch.