Tigers fall against Packers
Published 6:51 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2015
In the midst of a ground-breaking season, the Albert Lea softball team hit a speed bump.
The Tigers matched their lowest scoring output of the season Wednesday in a 6-3 loss against Austin at Hammer Field.
“We came out really flat, and we didn’t execute our hitting like we’re capable of,” said Albert Lea coach Dan Harms.
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Albert Lea (5-3, 3-3 Big Nine) entered the game on a three-game winning streak after beating Owatonna, winning the four-team St. Clair Tournament, and posting more wins through the first seven games than the team has in a decade.
Austin (2-6, 2-4 Big Nine) entered the game with one win and six straight losses against the Tigers.
Although Megan Kortan and Haley Harms advanced their hitting streaks to eight games, the Tigers were held in check by Austin pitcher Jaidyn Bastian, who struck out six batters and didn’t allow an earned run.
The Packers scored the first two runs of the game in the top of the second inning on separate wild pitches. Austin took a 4-0 lead in the fourth, but Albert Lea pitcher Hanna Schilling ended the inning with one of her three strikeouts. She pitched five innings, faced 36 batters and allowed seven hits and five earned runs.
Albert Lea fought back in the bottom of the fourth to cut its deficit to three runs. Kortan hit a lead-off single and scored on a line drive to left field by Allison Grandstrand.
In the top of the fifth, Austin recaptured the momentum with a solo home run over the left field fence by Shayley Vesel. The Packers added one more run in the fifth, and Harms entered the game in relief.
After Albert Lea went scoreless in the fifth, Austin went down in order in the sixth.
The Tigers rallied with a two-RBI single by Dayna Edwards that scored Grandstrand and Harms.
“We didn’t generate enough runs until it was too late,” coach Harms said. “We were pressing too hard and just hitting little dribblers and pop-ups.”
Albert Lea was unable to score any more runs in the sixth and went down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Next, the Tigers will play at 5 p.m. today at Rochester John Marshall.
Albert Lea hasn’t beaten the Rockets since a 1-0 victory at Albert Lea on Senior Night of the 2009-10 season.
“I told them to have a short-term memory,” coach Harms said. “We need to just go out there and have fun. That’ll give us a good shot at J.M.”