Missed opportunities costly

Packers leave

‘too many on base’

By Scott A. Kolb

Missed scoring opportunities in the early innings were costly for the Austin High softball team in a close loss to Rochester John Marshall.


The Packers left a runner stranded at third base in each of the first three innings. The visiting JM Rockets rallied late and won 4-2 on Tuesday afternoon at Todd Park.

In the bottom of the first inning, Sara Alms led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt from Jolene Brody.

Sara Sundberg followed with a base hit to put runners at the corners with one out. Then the potential rally fizzled. Sundberg was thrown out trying to steal, and a subsequent groundout ended the threat.

Bri Mayer was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the second for Austin. She went to second on a bunt and took third on a ground ball. But another grounder left Mayer stranded. The Packers left six runners aboard in the loss.

"We just left too many runners on base," Austin coach Steve Knox said. "The girls did a good job of getting on and creating scoring chances.

"It was just one of those games where we couldn’t come up with the key hits to drive those runs home."

Despite the loss, the Packers received another solid start from freshman pitcher Marie Clennon. After side-stepping a threat with two runners in scoring position in the top of the second, Clennon kept the Rockets scoreless through three innings.

This gave the Packers offense a chance to take the lead. Brandi Ruroden singled to open the bottom of the third. Audrey DeVries then came on to run for the catcher.


Alms followed with a walk. A couple of outs then threatened the rally, until Robin Arjes stroked an RBI single. DeVries made it 1-0 and there were still two runners aboard, but they were left on base.

The Packers gave back the run in the top of the fourth after a throwing error by Clennon. Another error on the Austin infield in the fifth inning opened the door to a two-run Rockets rally.

Showing a bit of resolve, the Packers cut into their deficit in the bottom of the sixth. Arjes singled to lead off and DeVries came on as a pinch-runner. After an out, Ashley Crump got a base hit.

A wild pitcher from Rockets hurler Jessa Hohnstein next moved the runners to second and third. Rachel Donovan got a sacrifice fly to score DeVries, but the potential tying run was left stranded.

The Rockets then took advantage of the third Packers error on the day, and scored the final run in the seventh. There would be no late rally as the Packers went down in order in their final at-bat.

"We had a couple of mental mistakes and it cost us some runs," Knox concluded. "Still, the girls battled the whole way and we were right in the game. We just have to keep striving to get better, and gain confidence in our fielding."

Austin (2-2, 2-2 Big Nine) travels to Mankato West on Thursday.



Rochester JM 000 120 1 — 4 10 0

Austin 001 001 0 — 2 7 3

Rochester JM: Sarah Armstrong 2-4, run; Maly Schacht 2-4, SB, run; Chelsee Feuerhelm 2-4, 2B, SB, run, 2 RBIs; Lizzy Hazard 2-3, walk, run, RBI; Katie Armstrong 2-3, SB; Michelle Amundson 0-3, RBI. WP: Jessa Hohnstein 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 HB, 5 K.

Austin: Sara Alms 1-3, walk; Jolene Brody 0-2; Sara Sundberg 1-3; Robin Arjes 2-3, SB, RBI; Bri Mayer 0-1, HBP; Emily Beckel 0-1; Ashley Crump 1-2; Rachel Donovan 0-2, RBI; Kaycee Lukes 0-2; Katlynne Fisher 0-1; Brandi Ruroden 2-3; Audrey DeVries 0-0, 2 runs. LP: Marie Clennon 7 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 5 K.

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