Eagles edge Bulldogs

Published 9:56 pm Friday, June 26, 2015

Emily Orban of Lake Mills swings Friday against Eagle Grove at Lake Mills. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Emily Orban of Lake Mills swings Friday against Eagle Grove at Lake Mills. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

LAKE MILLS — Despite a two-run shot by Hailey Borgmeyer in the third inning, the Lake Mills softball team lost its second consecutive nail-biter.

After West Hancock edged the Bulldogs 6-5 on Wednesday, Lake Mills’ rally fell short Friday with an 8-7 loss against Eagle Grove.

“We’ve had some games that just haven’t gone our way,” said Bulldogs coach Matt Daniels. “We’ve just got to focus on the game that day. If we do that, it’s going to catapult us into the postseason, and we’ll see what we can do there.”

Email newsletter signup

Emily Orban took the loss from the pitching circle. She struck out five batters and allowed six hits and one walk, while Eagle Grove’s pitching duo gave up nine hits.

“(Orban) threw really well against some really good hitters, and our defense backed her up and did a great job,” Daniels said.

The Eagles (18-10 overall), a team that won 14 of its last 15 games after an eight-game losing streak, built a four-run lead in the top of the first inning, but Lake Mills (6-15 overall) responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Jewell Gasteiger hit a lead-off single and scored on a triple by Borgmeyer, who cut the Bulldogs’ deficit in half when she crossed home plate on the first of three Eagles errors.

To start the bottom of the third, Orban hit a dribbler to shortstop but hustled down the first-base line and beat the throw.

“We’re giving good effort and making some plays,” Daniels said. “We’re in games, we just need to clean up the little things.”

After Orban’s single, Borgmeyer took the batter’s box and crushed a home run over the 210-foot sign in center field to tie the game, 4-4.

“That was just another example of how focused (Borgmeyer) has been,” Daniels said. “She’s been hitting the ball well all year, and that play was a big spark for us.”

Eagle Grove recaptured the lead in the fifth with four more runs, all scored with two outs.

Lake Mills cut its deficit to two runs, 8-6, in the sixth and held the Eagles scoreless in the top of the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh, Borgmeyer led off with her second triple and scored on a single by Sydney Dahl. However, the Bulldogs’ rally fell short.

Next, Lake Mills will look to snap a five-game skid with a doubleheader at 6 p.m. Monday at Newman Catholic (6-20 overall).

The Bulldogs have five regular-season games before the Class 2A Region 3 playoffs when they will host West Hancock at 7 p.m. July 6. During the regular season, the Bulldogs beat West Hancock 10-6 on June 3 at Lake Mills but lost by one run on Wednesday at West Hancock.