Byron outlasts Austin softball team in eight-inning playoff showdown

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, May 23, 2024

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The No. 8 seeded Austin softball team ran out of chances as its season came to an end in a 6-5 loss in eight innings to No. 5 Byron in a Section 1AAA elimination game in Todd Park Thursday.

Kaydence Fjerstad delivered a walk-off double for the Bears (12-7 overall) with one out in the bottom of the eighth after Byron had rallied from a two-run deficit in the late innings.

As the game got going and going, the stamina ran out,” Austin head coach Lisa Lage said. “Yesterday we played amazing against Winona, who is the number one seed, and then we had to play another long one today.”

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The Packers (4-16 overall) took a 5-3 lead in the top of the third inning Lexi Brede drew a bases loaded walk and Charlie Cunningham reached on an error with two outs to score a run.

After Byron pulled within 5-4 in, Klouse stopped the threat when she caught a fly ball and threw a runner out at third for a double play. Byron eventually tied the game in the sixth when it scored on a two out throwing error.

While they would’ve liked to have advanced, Lage knows she has to be patient with her young squad that leaned heavily on eighth grade pitcher KJ Schaefer, , who allowed four earned runs on Thursday, and freshman shortstop Quinn Osgood.

You look at how young we are. We had two eighth graders and three ninth graders out there. I’m excited for next year. We set a goal last year to double our wins and we ended up tripling them and we set a new goal together for next year,” Lage said. “I couldn’t ask anything more from KJ. She gave us everything she had and she never complained once.”

Austin 1 2 2  0 0 0  0 0  –  5    4  3

Byron 1 2 0  0 1 1  0 1  –  6  11  2

Austin pitching: KJ Schaefer (L) 7 1/3 IP, 11 H, 5 BB, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 K

Austin hitting: Kathryn Crouch, 0-for-3, R, 2 BBs; Addison Walsh, 0-for-4; Peyton Squier, 0-for-3, R, BB; Schaefer, 1-for-2, BB; Quinn Osgood, 0-for-4; Avery Wempner, 1-for-4; Lexi Brede, 0-for-1, 2 BBs, RBI, R; Katelynn Klouse, 1-for-4, RBI, R; Charlie Cunningham, 1-for-4; Lauren Bowe, R