Shorthanded Austin splits with Triton

Published 10:40 pm Monday, June 25, 2012

Austin's Erin Dankert slides past Triton's Kate Blaisdel to steal home in the first game of a doubleheader against Triton at Todd Park Monday. Austin's 16U softball team split the doubleheader, dropping the opener 5-1 and winning the nightcap 12-9. -- Rocky Hulne/

The Austin 16U softball team was a little shorthanded on Monday, but it rallied together to beat Triton 12-9 in the nightcap of a doubleheader after dropping the opener 5-1 in Todd Park Monday.

Austin's McKayla Swenson takes a swing against Triton in Todd Park Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

Austin (12-11-1 overall), which was playing without its No. 1 pitcher and cleanup hitter Abbey Ball and its center fielder and lead-off hitter Haley Kiefer, came out of the gates swinging in the second game as it mustered seven runs in the second inning to take a 7-2 lead.

Keisha Berg singled in the first run of the game for Austin and Abby Bickler slapped a single to right field to score two and make it 5-2 Austin.

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“We all wanted to come out and show them that we know what we’re doing, we can play with them and we can beat them,” said Bickler, who went 2-for-4 with three runs scored in the win. “We were excited to go out and hit.”

Austin pushed it to a 12-4 lead in the top of the sixth when Alicia Sforza blooped a two-run single, but the Cobras tallied five runs due to three Austin errors in the frame to pull closer.

“The beginning (of the sixth) was hard because there were a few things we probably could’ve improved on,” Bickler said. “We always talk in practice about moving on after mistakes and it was difficult, but it was certainly doable.”

Austin pitcher McKenna Gleisner closed out the win by forcing a lineout and a groundout. In all, she threw 12 total innings on the night.

“McKenna pitched for a long time and she pitched well,” Austin head coach Lisa Quednow-Bickler said. “It was a battle. But every once in a while our girls start believing and they hit the ball and score and lot of runs. We’ve just got to put it all together. It’s a fun group and they’re getting better ever game.”

Austin had just three hits in the first game and it scored its only run when Erin Dankert stole home in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Austin pitcher McKenna Gleisner fires a pitch against Triton in Todd Park Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

Triton 0 0 0 3 2 0 — 5 12 3

Austin 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 3 3

Austin pitching: McKenna Gleisner (L), 6 IP, 12 H, 3 BB, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 HBP, 6 K

Austin hitting: Erin Dankert, 1-for-2, R, SB; Abby Bickler, 0-for-3; Shaley Vesel, 0-for-3, SB; Sydney Murphy, 0-for-3; Alicia Sforza, 0-for-2; McKayla Swenson, 1-for-2; Gleisner, 0-for-2; Keisha Berg, 1-for-2; Hannah Schwemler, 0-for-2

Austin 0 7 0 2 0 3 — 12 8 6

Triton 2 0 0 1 1 5 — 9 8 7

Austin pitching: Gleisner (W), 6 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 9 R, 6 ER, 3 HBP, 1 K

Austin hitting: Dankert, 1-for-4, R; Bickler, 2-for-4, 2 RBIs, 3 R, SB; Swenson, 1-for-3, 2 R; Murphy, 1-for-4, RBI, R; Vesels, 2-for-4, RBI, R, SB; Sforza, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, SB; Gleisner, 0-for-3, R, HBP; Schwemler, 0-for-3, R