Tigers crush Falcons
Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2015
For the fifth time in 10 games, the Albert Lea softball team scored 10 or more runs.
With no fielding errors and a dozen hits — including a solo home run in the fifth inning by Kassi Hardies — Albert Lea crushed Faribault 10-0 Tuesday in six innings at Hammer Field in Albert Lea.
“Things are coming together for us,” said Tigers coach Dan Harms. “We’re playing great defense and getting pretty good hitting up and down the lineup. We’re starting to look forward to playing better competition.”
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Hitting streaks were extended to 10 games for Albert Lea’s Haley Harms and Megan Kortan. Harms was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, and Kortan was 1-for-4 with a run scored. Harms leads the team with a .500 batting average.
“It’s important that we get hits at the top of the lineup because that helps the whole team score more runs,” said Harms.
Kortan is one of four players in the order with a batting average over .400. When she’s in the batter’s box, Kortan said she receives pointers from first-base coach Karol Hansen.
“She helps me relax more and always tries to make me laugh,” Kortan said. “She says I hit better when I’m enjoying my time.”
Taylor Thompson led the Tigers at the plate against the Falcons by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
From the pitching circle, Haley Harms pitched her third shutout of the season. She faced 16 batters, compared to 45 for Faribault’s Claire Drentlaw. In six innings, Harms struck out three batters and allowed no walks and three hits.
Headed into the bottom of the third inning, the game was scoreless.
Thompson took first base on a one-out bunt base hit. After a Harms single and a bunt base hit by Kortan, Allison Grandstrand bashed a two-RBI single through the center fielder’s legs.
Albert Lea added its third run of the game when Dayna Edwards stole home on a wild pitch.
In the top of the fifth, the Tigers took a 4-0 lead when Grandstrand stole home on a wild pitch.
Hardies followed with a solo shot over the center field fence, her first home run of the season.
An RBI single by Veronica Silva scored Edwards to extend Albert Lea’s lead to six runs.
Thompson sparked the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth with a lead-off single, and the team followed with four more runs.
Next, Albert Lea (7-3 overall, 5-3 Big Nine) will host Mankato West (9-1, 6-0 Big Nine) at 5 p.m. Thursday. The Tigers lost 10-7 against the Scarlets on April 14. Those seven runs are the second-most runs Mankato West has given up all year.