Tigers lose in section thriller

Published 8:10 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

AUSTIN — The Albert Lea softball team traveled to Austin Tuesday night for the first round of the Section 1AAA tournament.

Despite taking a lead into the fifth inning, the Tigers were unable to hold on, as they fell to the Packers 6-5.

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The Tigers were the first on the board when senior Dayna Edwards reached base with a leadoff walk and junior Khira Hacker batted her in with a double to center field.

Albert Lea senior Mariah Posthumus makes the catch in right field for the first out in the inning. The Tigers would go on to lose the game to the Packers, 6-5. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tirbune

However, the Packers would come right back and take a lead of their own with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Both offenses stalled for a couple innings until Austin added one more run in the third. Albert Lea then had a monster fourth inning to take a two-run lead.

Hacker led the inning off with a walk, followed by a single from sophomore Mia Fjelsta and a bunt by sophomore Emma Renchin.

With the bases loaded, senior Mariah Posthumus brought a run in with an RBI single, which was followed by a two-RBI single right up the right field foul line. Edwards would also bat a run in later in the inning.

Austin would take one run back in the bottom of the inning to make the score 5-4 in favor of Albert Lea with two innings to go.

“This was definitely our best game all season and I’m glad it happened in sections,” said head  coach Casey Kortz. “Our energy was high from the start, we communicated on and off the field, and we played as a team.”

Austin started the bottom of the fifth inning with a home run to tie the game at five. Two batters later, the Packers hit another solo homerun to take a one-run lead.

Albert Lea would be unable to gain the offensive momentum they needed to come back in the game as they ultimately lost the game.

However, Kortz was still pleased with her teams all-around performance.

“My pitcher is working her butt off and she handled the home runs like a champ,” she said. “I’m very proud of all the girls tonight. Each player stepped up and took on their role and in our minds, we came out on top. We need to continue to bring this fire to Thursday’s game.”

Fjelsta played all seven innings on the mound for the Tigers. She walked only one batter and struck out four.

The Tigers are still alive in the section tournament, only on the bottom side of the bracket. They will face the loser of Austin vs. Northfield at 6 p.m. Thursday at Todd Softball Complex in Austin.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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