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AUSTIN EDITION Tough way to go out for Austin seniors

By Jason Feldman

jfeldman@postbulletin.com

It was a bitter way for a sterling pitcher to end her high school career.

Owatonna's Sara Docken reached base on an error and came around to score on two wild pitches in the top of the 11th. Docken scored the game-winning run in Owatonna's 2-1 victory over Austin and senior pitcher Angie Rohne on Saturday in an elimination game of the Section One, Class AAA tournament at Todd Park.

The loss marked the end of the line with the Packers for Rohne and six other seniors -- Jo Wiste, Kelly Longueville, Natalie Miller, Sam Eslinger, Danielle Gibson and Nicole Miller.

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"A number of (the seniors) did a great job last summer of playing summer ball and winning the Southern Minny championship," AHS coach Steve Knox said. "They showed a real commitment to the program and that they wanted to be a part of building the program."

Rohne, who is headed to Southwest Minnesota State in the fall, went out in style. She struck out 17 Owatonna hitters and provided Austin's lone run in the sixth when she tripled to right field and scored on a throwing error.

She recorded at least one strikeout in 10 of 11 innings and struck out the side in the third and the sixth.

"She kept working hard and hoping things would work out," Knox said of Rohne. "We made a few mistakes, but it was good to see the team pick each other up. Kelly Longueville and Natalie Miller made some great plays to get to a couple of balls in the outfield."

Owatonna took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Docken and Kristi DeCoux. Rohne then retired 12 of the next 14 hitters she faced.

Knox said the Packers' underclassmen gained some valuable experience in close game situations this season, including starting second baseman Tana Lukes, who was just a freshman. Lukes grounded out to end the game, but she hit the ball hard and put it in play in a game in which the Packers struck out looking five times.

"We have some young girls coming back," Knox said, "and this can only make them better. Tana came up at the end, hit the ball hard and made (Owatonna) make a play. That's a lot of pressure to put on young players ... on any players."

Austin closed its season at 11-9 overall.

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Owatonna 2, Austin 1, 11 inn.

Owatonna 000 100 000 01 -- 2 6 0

; Austin 000 001 000 00 -- 1 6 2

; WP: Danielle Von Ruden 11 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 14 K. LP: Angie Rohne 11 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 17 K.

2B: Owa, Rosenau, Docken, DeCoux. 3B: Aust, Rohne.

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