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Weather puts a damper on Tiger softball season

The Tigers escaped the rain by playing at home Thursday, but Morris Area was unable to escape the storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow on the softball fields Friday.

The snow forced the postponement of Saturday's Morris Area Invitational Softball Tournament. Some of those games will be played this Saturday, May 3.

"We have had this tournament for many years," said coach Mary Holmberg. "There has been only one or two times that we had to call if off due to snow or rain.

"I think we can try to get one or two teams here to play some games." She added, "If the snow melts by then."

Morris Area was scheduled to play on the road Thursday, but due to rain in Montevideo the Thunder Hawks came to play on Eagles Field. The Tigers will travel south for Friday's game with Montevideo.

Montevideo took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning.

Kelsey Amundson gave up a lead-off walk, struck out the next two batters, but gave up a single and then a two-RBI double.

In the fourth inning, the Thunder Hawks scored another run on a lead-off walk and a Tiger error. Catcher Jen Storck caught a pop up bunt and Amundson struck out the next two batters to end the scoring.

"Kelsey pitched very, very well, but the two lead-off walks turned into runs for Montevideo," Holmberg. "We need to cut down on errors. It was cold and windy, but we still need to make the defensive plays."

The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Sara Beyer scored on a ground ball by Adrienne Gahm. Heather Gagner then hit a hard single to right field to score Gahm. Gagner advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Britney Greenwaldt for the first out of the inning. She was stranded on a strike out by Amundson and a hard ground ball to second by Dani Schultz.

Montevideo scored two more runs in the sixth inning on a base hit and two Tiger errors.

Morris Area made a threat in the bottom of the sixth when Beyer led off with a double, Gahm walked, and Gagner hit her second single on the day to load the bases with no outs. Greenwaldt then hit a hard line drive right at the second baseman who doubled up Gahm at second for the double play. Bree Neuman, pinch hitting for Amundson, hit a hard ground ball to second.

"Heather and Sara really hit the ball hard," said Holmberg. "Britney's ball was well hit, but went right to the second baseman. If Bree's had gone a foot to the left, we would have scored a run.

"We just have not had any luck offensively. We hit the ball hard, but always at someone.

"To Monte's credit, they made the defensive plays.

Morris tried to rally in the seventh. With one out, Katie VanKempen walked, was out on a fielder's choice by Storck, and Mary Rentz singled to score Storck.

"Mary has made good contact all year," said Holmberg. "We need to have base runners on when she comes to the plate."

Amundson took the loss, giving up five hits and two earned runs. She struck out 10 and walked two.

"Kelsey has done her job well," Holmberg said. "We need to give her offensive and defensive support.

"Jen Storck has played solid behind the plate as catcher."