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Tiger girls fall behind early in loss to Monte

Despite a late-game rally, Morris Area could not recover from the six unearned runs scored by Montevideo in the first inning and the Thunder Hawks won 8-5 Thursday in the Tigers' softball home opener.

The shaky start for the Tigers began with a hit batter. Then an overthrow of second base on a fielder's choice scored the hit batter and sent the next runner to third base.

The Thunder Hawks followed with a base hit. Another Tiger error on an overthrow to first base was followed by back-to-back base hits.

"This was not how we wanted to start out our home opener," said coach Mary Holmberg. "It was similar to the Minnewaska game. Giving up six unearned runs in fastpitch is tough to come back from."

Morris Area did score one run in the bottom of the first on a lead-off base hit by Dani Schultz. She stole second and scored on a single by Mary Rentz.

Schultz scored in the third inning as well when she reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, and again scored on a base hit by Rentz.

Montevideo widened the gap in the fourth inning with a two-run homer.

The Tigers came back in the sixth inning, scoring three runs on singles by Rentz, Sara Beyer, and Courtney Vogel. Haley Henrich reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a passed ball to Alissa Melberg.

Schultz hit a triple in the seventh with one out, but was stranded at third base.

"I thought we hit the ball hard and collected 10 hits," said Holmberg. "We were too impatient taking the first pitch."

Schultz and Rentz had two hits apiece.

"Defensively, we played well after the first inning," added Holmberg.

Rentz was busy at short stop and made some long throws to first base.

"Rentz cleanly fielded the balls at short and Beyer made some really nice catches at first base," said Holmberg. "Rentz also made a heads-up play tagging out a runner in the seventh inning at second base."

The Tigers used three pitchers to get the job done.

Beyer started, Kelsey Amundson pitched the next three innings, and MacKenzie Weatherly finished the last three.

"Weatherly had great control and kept the ball low," said Holmberg. "She faced 10 batters and only one reached base on a hit.

"I liked how we put the first inning behind us," concluded Holmberg. "We just need to be a little more patient. It's still early in the season."