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AUSTIN EDITION -- Austin Legion softball team loses 1st in league

Suffering its first loss of the summer in league play, the Austin Legion softball team split a doubleheader with Winona Orange.

The Legion 18-and-under team won the first game of the Tuesday twinbill 3-1 at the North Todd Park complex. Amy Kelly had 11 strikeouts as she pitched Austin to victory.

In the late game, the Windstars of Winona scored in their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh to win 3-2. Abbey Bergstrom had five strikeouts while taking the pitching loss for Austin.

Shannon Wing of Winona scored the winning run on a close play in the seventh. Wing had singled with one out and made it into scoring position with two outs.

Wing came home when a line drive ricocheted off Austin shortstop Caitlin Jurgensen's glove. The ball was quickly retrieved by centerfielder Steph Sundberg, who fired it home. Amid the dust and confusion, Wing was ruled safe and the game ended.

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"That was a boom-boom play and we had good defensive execution, but the runner just slid under the tag," Austin coach Todd Waterbury said. "We battled back from an early deficit and made it interesting."

Trailing 2-0 in the late game, the Austin girls rallied to tie the score with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Kelly started the rally with a one-out single.

Nicole Turvey followed with a RBI double and it was 2-1. A groundout by Jurgensen then moved the runner to third. Steph Eslinger next hit a ground ball and an error on the play allowed Turvey to tie the game.

"They made some fine defensive plays and we stranded too many runners," Waterbury said of the loss. "They got the leadoff runner on quite a bit and did their damage."

Kelly was in fine form for the opening game as she tossed a shutout into the seventh inning.

The Legion opened the night's scoring as Kelly came home on a single by Eslinger in the bottom of the second. Betsy Hingeveld then expanded the lead.

Hingeveld reached base on an error to lead off the fourth. A couple of ground balls moved her to third and Turvey hit an RBI single.

With one-out in the sixth, Hingeveld got a hit. Keri Feller followed with a double and Kelly had an ample lead.

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"The girls stayed focused and this was a good tune-up for the upcoming Southern Minny League state qualifying tournament," Waterbury concluded.

Austin Legion 18-and-under softball (17-2, 7-1) is scheduled to play on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the first game of the state qualifier tourney in Owatonna.

First game

AUSTIN 3, WINONA ORANGE 1

Winona 000 000 1 -- 1 3 1

; Austin 010 101 x -- 3 6 1

; Rodgers and O'Brien; Kelly and Feller.

2B -- WIN, Rodgers; AUS, Feller.

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Second game

Winona orange 3, austin 2

Austin 000 002 0 -- 2 6 0

; Winona 100 100 1 -- 3 7 2

; Bergstrom and White, Feller (6); Braatz and Degnan.

2B -- AUS, Eslinger, Turvey; WIN, Rodgers, Wing.

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