Mayo slides past Austin

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2000

The Austin softball team fell to .

Wednesday, May 03, 2000

The Austin softball team fell to .500 for the first time this season after losing 4-2 to Rochester Mayo at Todd Park on Tuesday.

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But after the loss, the Packers (5-5, 4-4 in the Big Nine) believed they were snake bit more than anything else.

"Their defense made every play they had to make," said Austin second baseman Lauren Feller. "We hit the ball hard and put the ball in play a lot."

Feller collected two of Austin’s 11 hits. She was also thrown out at home plate in a key third-inning sequence with the Packers leading 1-0.

"We play aggressive ball," said Feller, who was cut down by her counterpart, Mayo second sacker Michelle Linbo, after she bobbled a grounder before throwing home to catch Feller, who was trying to sneak home from second base.

"I thought she was going to go to first with her throw," Austin coach Todd Waterbury said. "But (Linbo) made the play she needed to make."

Defensively, the Packers were flawless.

Mayo’s first two runs came after a stellar play by Austin third baseman Megan Olsen, who cut down the game-tying run at home plate in the fourth inning.

Olsen, with a runner breaking from third, speared a hard grounder and threw home for the out. But a triple by Vicki Evan one out later plated one run. Evan scored on a Linbo single two pitches later.

Mayo never trailed after taking the 2-1 lead.

"It definitely brought the team up," said Evan of her triple off of Austin freshman pitcher Amy Kelly, whom Evan praised as "really good."

"I’d never seen her before," Evan said. "You just want to cover what parts of the plate you can cover and hope to hit her."

Mayo (6-5, 6-3 in the Big Nine) plugged Austin’s bases-loaded rally in the sixth inning before the Packers could score more than one. With two out and the sacks juiced, Sara Turvey slashed a liner right into the glove of Spartan shortstop Jacquie Schwankee.

"A couple inches more and that’s a hit," Waterbury said. "We’re not finding a way to get our hits across. Other than that, I don’t know that we can play any better."

Mayo pitcher Anna Rau had something to do with silencing Austin. She scattered the 11 Austin hits and didn’t walk a batter, forcing Austin to string together hits. Twice the Packers ripped three consecutive singles. But they couldn’t manage the watershed blow.

"We’ll come back," Feller said. "We’re fine. We’re struggling now, but sooner or later we’re going to start making the big plays Austin is known for."

Austin hosts Rochester Century at 4 p.m. today.


Rochester Mayo 9, Austin 1

Mayo pitcher Jimmy Strain shackled Austin on Tuesday, while the Spartans hit back-to-back home runs to take a lead they never relinquished.

Strain scattered seven hits and Jeremy Cordi and Heath Henderson went back-to-back in the second inning, giving Mayo a 2-0 edge.

"They’re a good hitting club," Austin coach Jerry Miller said, "the best we’ve faced."

The Packers cut the lead to 2-1 on Andy Klapperick’s run-scoring single in the fourth.

But the host Spartans touched Austin starter Joe Huffman again in the fourth, scoring four on five straight hits.

Brett Holck pitched Austin out of the jam. Tanner Schieck came on in the sixth, when Mayo scored three more on a couple of hits, an error and a sac fly.

"We’ve got to regroup," Miller said of his Packers (6-5, 6-4 in the Big Nine), who play Thursday in Winona.

With the win, Mayo improved to 9-2 overall, 7-1 in the Big Nine.