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Wingers clip Packers by a run, Austin will face elimination Friday

It has been more than a month since the Austin softball team has been in the winner’s circle, but the Packers showed some signs of life in a 7-6 loss to Red Wing in a Section 1AAA Tournament opener in Todd Park Thursday.

The Packers pulled to within 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh when Kimberly Rodriguez had an RBI ground-out, but the game came to an end when Avery Thompson grounded into a fielder’s choice with runners on first and second.

Austin racked up 10 hits in the loss after the Packers had scored a total of just 15 runs in their last eight games.

Austin’s Madisyn Retterath slides in under the tag of Red Wing’s Elle Brandt during the Section 1AAA Tournament Thursday. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“We definitely played with a lot of fire. We were into it and we felt like wanted to win more than usual,” said Thompson, who went two-for-four with an RBI. “We lost some energy and we lost some momentum with an error that didn’t need to happen. That kind of brought our energy down.”

The Packers took a 5-3 lead when Jordyn McCormack singled in two runs and Madisyn Retterath and Thompson each had an RBI single. The Wingers (9-10 overall), who beat Austin three times this year, tied the game at 5-5 when Meg Grove hit a two out, two-run double in the fourth and the Wingers took a 7-5 lead when Haley Ehlers blooped a single to score two runs in the fifth.

The Packers allowed two unearned runs in the opening frame, but Austin head coach Lisa Lage was happy with how her team competed after falling behind 3-0.

“It’s easy to get stuck on the costly error that we had. I’ve been preaching to the girls all year that if you have an error, you have to move on,” Lage said. “I praise them with the passion they had today and they showed a drive I hadn’t seen before. Hopefully we can bring that out tomorrow.”

Austin (4-16 overall) has now lost 12 games in a row and it will try to keep its season going when the Packers play Kasson-Mantorville in an elimination game in in Todd Park at 4 p.m. Friday. Austin and KM split a doubleheader on April 2.

Austin’s Hannah McMasters fields the ball against Red Wing in the Section 1AAA Tournament Thursday. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Austin 0 5 0  0 0 0  1  —  6  10  2

RW 3 0 0  2 2 0  X  —  7   9  3

Austin pitching: Leslie Rodriguez (L) 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 6 BB, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 K, 1 HBP; Jaeda Beckaert, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 K

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

Austin’s Leslie Rodriguez pitches against Red Wing in the Section 1AAA Tournament Thursday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com