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Packer softball team takes third at Elks Invite

The Packer softball team played over six hours of softball with some of the better teams they’ll see all year at the Elks Invite Friday night.

Austin opened with a 3-1 win over Dover/Eyota, fell to eventual champ Simley 15-5 and lost the third place game to Eden Prairie 9-1.

“We did a lot more things right than things that we need to work on, so I’m pleased with our performance,” Austin head coach Tina Strauss said.

The Elks Invite was finished Friday since rain was expected all day Saturday.

The Packers (3-5 overall) produced a few early runs in the win over D/E (2-9 overall).

In the first inning, Sara Alms walked, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a groundout by Brandi Ruroden. In the second, Robin Arjes singled, advanced to third on a bunt and scored on a throwing error. In the third, Alms singled and scored on a wild pitch.

D/E had the bases loaded with no outs in the fifth but Austin pitcher Marie Clennon retired three straight hitters to escape. D/E scored in the sixth, but stranded a runner on third when Clennon struck out Taylor Jean and got Cierra Daniels to pop out.

“I thought we played a great game against Dover/Eyota and our pitching was fantastic,” Strauss said.

Austin opened the scoring against Simley when Alms singled and scored on a two-out single by Sara Sundberg. But Simley scored two runs on wild pitches in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead.

After falling behind 7-1, Austin pulled to within 7-4 in the top of the fourth when Robin Arjes and Bri Mayer had run scoring singles and Audrey DeVries grounded out to score a run.

The Spartans hit three doubles in the fourth and Emily Skov blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence to put it away.

“The competition in this tournament is phenomenal,” Strauss said. “There’s some great teams here and it’s really exciting to have them come down to Austin.”

The last game saw Eden Prairie take a 5-0 lead in the first two innings and the Packers didn’t get on the board until the seventh, when Sundberg, who was 3-for-8 on the day, knocked in Brandi Ruroden with a double.

“It was really nice for Sarah to get that hit at the end and get a run,” Strauss said. “Sara was on today.”

In other Elks Invite action, Simley won the title game 3-2 over Mayo, Mounds View beat St. Peter 4-0 in the fifth place game and Hill-Murray beat Dover/Eyota 12-2 in the seventh place game.

D/E 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 3

Austin 1 1 1 0 0 0 X 3 5 1

Austin pitching: Marie Clennon (W), 7 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 1 R, 0 ER, 7 K

Austin hitting: Sara Alms, 1-for-2, 2 R, SB, BB; Kaycee Lukes, 1-for-3; Brandi Ruroden, 0-for-3, RBI; Sara Sundberg, 0-for-3, 2 SB; Clennon, 0-for-3; Robin Arjes, 2-for-3, R; Audrey DeVries, 0-for-2; Bri Mayer, 1-for-3; Rachel Donavan, 0-for-3

Austin 1 0 0 3 1 — 5 5 3

Simley 3 2 2 5 3 — 15 14 1

Austin pitching: Clennon (L), 2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 R, 3 ER, HBP; Jennifer Yocom, 1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 ER; Abbey Ball, 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 5 ER

Austin hitting: Alms, 1-for-3, R; Lukes, 0-for-1; Ruroden, 0-for-3; Sundberg, 2-for-2, triple, RBI, 2 R, SB, BB; Clennon, 0-for-1, R, 2 BBs; DeVries, 0-for-1, 2 RBIs, BB; Mayer, 1-for-3, RBI; Donavan, 0-for-1; Katlynne Fisher, 0-for-1

Austin 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 5 3

EP 1 4 0 0 0 4 X — 9 12 0

Austin pitching: Clennon (L), 4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 ER, 6 K; Ball, 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 R, 0 ER

Austin hitting: Alms, 1-for-3; Lukes, 0-for-3; Ruroden, 2-for-3, R; Sundberg, 1-for-3, double, RBI; Clennon, 0-for-3; DeVries, 0-for-3; Ashley Crump, 0-for-2; Mayer, 0-for-2; Katelyn Joseph, 1-for-2