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JM's final rally results in win over Century

Each team had three big innings in Monday's Big Nine Conference softball game between Rochester John Marshall and Rochester Century. JM, however, was just a little more productive with its rallies, as the Rockets beat the Panthers 11-7 at JM.

Century scored once in the first, three times in the second and once more in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Amy Fordham started Century's three-run second inning with a single. She went to second on a sacrifice and scored on Michelle Kelley's double. Kristi Wilson then doubled in Kelley, and Kate Kluge's base hit scored Wilson.

The five Century runs came on seven hits against JM starting pitcher Carrie Lehnertz. Becky Graf relieved Lehnertz in the fourth inning and kept Century in check so the Rockets could get back in the game. Graf allowed two runs on four hits over four innings.

"Becky did a great job coming off the bench to pick us up and slow down Century's bats," said JM head coach Thang Nguyen.

JM started the comeback with four runs in the fourth before Krista Severson blasted a home run over the fence leading off the fifth. The Rockets got three runs that inning to tie the game 7-7, then pushed across four more in the sixth to take the lead.

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"It was a hitter's ballgame," Nguyen said. "Century came out and hit the ball really hard in the first three innings. It took us four innings to start hitting, but once it started the girls didn't want to stop."

The Rockets finished with 10 hits. Stacy Amundson and Kirsten Schiefert were each 2-for-4, while Kari Swancutt and Angie Duncomb were each 2-for-3. Swancutt and Schiefert had two RBIs apiece, and Duncomb had three.

"They hit when they had to," Century head coach Tim Strain said of JM.

Kluge was 3-for-4 for the Panthers, who collected 11 hits in the game. Ashley Nadeau was 2-for-4 with a double, and Michelle Kelley went 2-for-2 with a double.

JM improved to 7-6 in the Big Nine, 9-7 overall, and plays a doubleheader in Faribault today. Century is 3-11 in the conference, 5-12 overall, and plays at Austin today.

Kelly downs Mayo, again

The same difficult story unfolded again for Rochester Mayo as it faced Austin ace Amy Kelly.

That is, few hits, no runs, and another loss against Kelly. This time the Spartans fell 3-0 at Mayo.

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"We came close, but we just have a hard time scoring runs against Austin in recent years," Mayo coach Steve Riles said. "We just can't score against Kelly. But we look forward to having another chance in the section tournament."

Mayo did have some chances against Kelly. One of them happened in the first inning. But a horrible omen unveiled itself, when with runners at first and second Mayo hit into a rare triple play.

The Spartans also had runners on second and third in the sixth, but left them stranded. Mayo finished the game with six hits.

Brittany Rathbun gave Mayo a strong pitching performance. The junior took a 0-0 game into the seventh inning. Rathbun had two out in the inning before Austin (16-2, 13-2 Big Nine) scored its first run. The Packers wound up unleashing on her that inning, connecting for five straight hits.

Mayo is 9-7 in the Big Nine and 11-8 overall. It has one regular-season game left, at 5 p.m. Thursday, when it takes on Rochester John Marshall.

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