Packer softball team can’t hold off Spartans

Published 8:48 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Austin softball team lost its stride almost as soon as it grabbed momentum in a 9-7 loss to Rochester Mayo in its regular season finale on senior day at Todd Park Tuesday.

Mayo (5-10 overall) took the lead for good when Jessica Condon laced a two-run single with one out in the top of the seventh after Austin tied the game at 7-7 on a sacrifice fly by Leslie Rodriguez in the bottom of the sixth.

The Packers (4-15 overall) had taken a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning after Hannah McMasters and Jordyn McCormack came up with back-to-back RBIs, but the Spartans bounced back with a five-run top of the fifth to retake the lead. Austin committed two crucial throwing errors in that frame.

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“We get quiet. When we get quiet we start making the mental errors,” Austin head coach Lisa Lage said. “That’s been a battle of ours all year long. Whenever we get quiet, we have that one bad inning and we need to figure out next week how we’re going to keep talking and stay alert.”

Austin’s Jenna Braaten holds on a pitch against Rochester Mayo Tuesday night at Todd Park. Eric Johnson/

McMasters went three-for-four with two doubles and four RBIs in the loss for Austin and McCormack was two-for-two, but no other Packer had more than one hit.

Lage gave credit to the three seniors on Austin’s team.

“Jenna Braaten has great energy and she’s always cheering the girls up and Erin Bickler has a smile that just brightens your day and she’s really grown as a player this year,” Lage said. “Hannah had an awesome day and it’s been so fun to watch her from her freshman year all the way up to see see her into a phenomenal player.”

The Packers, who have lost 11 straight games, will now prepare for the Section 1AAA Tournament, which begins May 21.

“I’m hoping we’ll go in with a fresh mindset,” Lage said. “We’re one of the teams who are done with our season and we can really focus on practice for the next few days.”

Mayo 1 1 0  0 5 0  2    9  8  1

Austin 1 0 2  3 0 1  0    7  8  2

Austin pitching: Jaeda Beckaert (L) 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 7 R, 2 ER, 7 K; Leslie Rodriguez, 2 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 2 ER

Austin hitting: Jenna Braaten, 1-for-3, 2 BBs; Madisyn Retterath, 0-for-4, 2 R, BB; Jordyn McCormack, 2-for-2, RBI, 3 R, 2 SB, 2 BBs; Hannah McMasters, 3-for-4, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs; Leslie Rodriguez, 0-for-2, RBI, BB; Erin Bickler, 1-for-4; Beckaert, 0-for-2, 2 BBs, SB; Emilee Lau, 0-for-2, BB; Avery Thompson, 1-for-4; Kimberly Rodriguez, 0-for-1; Lucy Langervall, R