Tigers hand Packers an opening loss

Published 7:35 pm Thursday, April 8, 2021

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The Austin softball team has come back from a two-year hiatus with just two weeks to adjust to a new roster as it looks to build momentum for the future this season.

The Packers started with a strong burst in the first inning, but it didn’t last as they lost to Albert Lea 22-4 in four innings in Todd Park Thursday.

Austin (0-1 overall, 0-1 Big Nine) took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Sadie Hagan knocked in two runs with a single and Madison Herrick drove in another run on a groundout, but the Packers had zero hits the rest of the way.

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“In the first inning we came out strong, but we maybe got a little comfortable and we need to work on staying aggressive,” Austin head coach Lisa Lage said. “We haven’t had time to work on some things yet. We’re young and the girls are positive. We’ll grow together.”

The Packers started a pair of freshmen for their battery as Abby Van Pelt pitched to her twin sister Katie Van Pelt, who drew two walks as the lead-off hitter.

There is still a lot more to learn for the Packers as the team will gain more experience each day.

“It’s been back to the basics,” Lage said. “We had to go through how to field and throw. With hitting, the bats have been a little bit slow and we haven’t seen a lot of live pitching.”

Albert Lea 261 13  —  22 14  0

Austin 420 00  —     4    2  4

Austin pitching: Abby Van Pelt (L) 4 IP, 14 H, 9 BB, 22 R, 15 ER, 2 K, 1 HBP

Austin hitting: Katie Van Pelt, 2 BBs; Abby Van Pelt, 0-for-1, R, BB; Isabel Stark, 1-for-2, R; Kate Holtz, 0-for-2, R; Sadie Hagan, 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, SB; Madisyn Busker, 0-for-1; Madison Herrick, 0-for-1, RBI; Lucy Lagervall, 0-for-1; Riley Hetzell, 0-for-2; Cailee Aldrich, 1-for-1, R; Megan Dilley-Jones, 0-for-1; Alexis Crews, 0-for-1