Fast-pitch team splits doubleheaders

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2002

The Albert Lea 18-and-under girls’ fast-pitch softball team had mixed results in a pair of recent doubleheaders, sweeping Byron after being swept by Austin.

The locals edged Byron 4-3 in game one as Ashley Chrz hit an inside-the-park home run. Jenny Hovendick had two doubles, Jess Hanson three singles, Leah Boyer and Vanessa Storlie two singles apiece. Therese Paczkowski also hit safely and Nicole Rafdal had a sacrifice fly.

Rafdal went the distance on the mound, registering three strikeouts and four walks. The defensive play of the game came in the seventh, when second base player Ashley Helgerson made a diving stop and threw to shortstop Hovendick at second. The runner was safe, but Hovendick fired home to catcher Storlie, who blocked the plate and kept the tying run from scoring.

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Hovendick and Stacie Thisius both had a pair of singles as Albert Lea the second game 6-4. Kelly Host, Kelly Royce and Steph Lackey also singled.

Lackey pitched a complete game, walking three and striking out one. Thisius had a diving catch in right field.

“Everyone played heads-up defense the whole game and never gave up,&uot; said Albert Lea coach Emily Ulve.

Boyer had Albert Lea’s lone hit in a 2-0 loss to Austin. Therese Paczkowski pitched for Albert Lea; she walked three and fanned one.

Chrz and Hovendick singled as Albert Lea dropped game two 3-0. Rafdal pitched, striking out three while walking five.

“In both games we had excellent pitching and defense but we couldn’t get our bats going,” said Ulve.” Austin has a great team and we contended with them the whole time.”