Packers drop softball opener

Published 9:02 pm Thursday, April 7, 2011

Austin shortstop Katelyn Joseph tags Faribault's Jenna Boudreau as she tries to steal second in the second inning Thursday at Todd Park. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin softball team just couldn’t catch a break as it lost 4-2 to Faribault to open its season in Todd Park Thursday.

Taylor Hackensmith started the seventh inning for the Packers (0-1 overall, 0-1 Big Nine) by being thrown out by a half-step on a ground ball to third and the game ended when Hanah Schmit was tagged at the plate while trying to score on a passed ball.

The breaks were even worse for Austin in the fourth inning. Katelyn Joseph led off with an infield single, but she was hit by a grounder off the bat of Marie Clennon on a hit-and-run and called out. Then Danielle Tschann and Hackensmith put together back-to-back two-out singles, but pinch runner Carley Grunewald was thrown out at third on Hackensmith’s single which knocked in a run and made it a 1-1 game.

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“We’re learning. Sometimes you’ve got to take risks and sometimes they play out and sometimes they don’t. It’s about taking smart risks,” Austin head coach Tina Strauss. “On the play where Katelyn Joseph was hit, that was exactly what we needed to happen and she was three-quarters of the way to second when she got hit. That was just tough luck.”

Austin's Marie Clennon pitches in the first inning against Faribault Thursday afternoon at Todd Park. - Eric Johnson/

Tschann, a junior, had a strong day in her debut at catcher. She picked off two runners stealing at second base and she went one-for-three at the plate.

“It’s a lot of work, but I’m working hard every day. I can only go up from here and it helps to have a strong arm,” she said. “I’ve been a pretty solid batter and I’ve got big hopes and expectations for this season (as a hitter).”

Faribault (1-1 overall, 1-1 Big Nine) took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth when Amandalee Papow knocked in a run with a base hit and Laura Pinske tripled in a run. Clennon threw a runner out at third and struck out Madeline Moore to get out of the jam, but the Austin trailed the rest of the way.

Austin pulled to within 3-2 in the sixth when Lindsey Miller walked, stole second base and scored on a sacrifice fly by Clennon. Faribault made it 4-2 in the top of the seventh when Emily Kline drove in a run with a two out single.

While Austin’s offense couldn’t get a rally going, it’s defense didn’t commit an error all night.

“We did a lot of really nice things,” Strauss said. “We played really solid defense and we had some nice hits. We just had a hard time getting it through the infield.”

Faribault 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 — 4 10 0

Austin 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 — 2 5 0

Austin pitching: Marie Clennon (L), 7 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 4 ER, 5 K

Austin hitting: Lindsey Miller, 0-for-2, R, SB, BB; Katelyn Joseph, 1-for-3; Clennon, 0-for-3, RBI; Danielle Tschann, 1-for-3; Taylor Hackensmith, 1-for-3, RBI; Abbey Ball, 1-for-3; Liz Gerhart, 0-for-3; Amber Schmit, 1-for-2; Haley Underwood, 0-for-2; Hanah Schmit, R, SB

Faribault pitching: Sara Mueller (W), 7 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 3 K

Faribault hitting: Amandalee Papow, 1-for-4, RBI, R, SB; Laura Pinske, 3-for-3, 2 triples, RBI, R, BB; Maggie Stoeckel, 0-for-4; Emily Kline, 2-for-4, RBI; Jenna Bourdreau, 1-for-4; Miranda Krenske, 1-for-3; Ellen Scheffler, 0-for-3; Mueller, 1-for-3, R, SB