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Paynesville Press - May 10, 2006

Dogs' rally falls short against Lakers

By Michael Jacobson

Conference-leading Minnewaska scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Bulldogs for the second time this year in softball, winning 8-7 on Thursday.

The Lakers, who have only one loss in softball, loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with one out on a walk and two singles. They hit a liner to the outfield that was dropped for an error, scoring the winning run, but it was doubtful that the Dogs could have prevented the winning run from tagging up and scoring anyway, said coach Tim Woehler.

For the second time this season, the Dogs rallied from a large deficit against the Lakers. In April, the Dogs trailed 13-4 before scoring seven runs in the sixth inning and losing 13-11. This time, the Lakers jumped to a 7-0 lead, but the Dogs rallied to tie the game 7-7.

Trailing 7-0 in the third inning, the Dogs scored three runs on two walks and singles by senior Melanie Mages and Amanda Skalicky. Skalicky drove in a run with her hit. Then, in the fourth, the Dogs scored four runs to tie the game. Mages had the biggest hit in the rally, a two-run double. Senior Jess Engler added an RBI single to plate the tying run later in the inning.

The Dogs, though, had dug themselves a hole by allowing Minnewaska to score six runs in the second inning, committing three errors in that frame. "We beat ourselves in the second inning," said Woehler. "We gave up six runs and only three were earned."

The Dogs fielded the balls and made the right decisions about where to go for the outs, even backing up the plays, added Woehler, but they missed the throws to the bases. "We did everything right," he said, "but catch the ball."

Minnewaska did outhit the Dogs 8-5 in the game but had only two hits in their big inning, benefitting from three Bulldog errors and three walks and a hit batter.

The Dogs (8-6 overall) have outscored their opponents 124-66 so far this season, with six of their wins coming by the ten-run rule. But, in games decided by two runs or less, the Dogs are 1-4, including their two narrow loses to the Lakers.

"The two times we've lost to them it's because of one bad inning," said Woehler. "We earn all our runs. What's killing us are unearned runs."

Minnewaska, with only one loss in the West Central Conference North, will be hard for the Dogs, now 5-4 in conference play, to catch, conceded Woehler. Had the Dogs have beaten them last week, though, they would have only been one loss behind the Lakers.

This week, the Dogs hosted Albany on Tuesday. They will play at Sauk Centre on Thursday.

Next week, the Dogs will play a doubleheader against New London-Spicer on Monday, May 15. The Dogs' game at NL-S was rained out in April, so both games will be played at the PAHS fields on Monday with the start time moved to 4:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 16, the Dogs will play their last conference game at Melrose.

Paynesville-- 003 400 0 - 75 6
Minnewaska-- 160 000 1 - 8 8 1

Paynesville - Batting: Melanie Mages 2-4 2B R-2 RBI-2; Amanda Skalicky 1-2 SB; Laura Schaefer 1-3 R RBI; Jess Engler 1-4 RBI-2; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Engler (5.2-6-7-5-4-1); Ashley Ogdahl (L) (0.2-2-1-0-1-0).

Minnewaska - Batting: Sarah Gregerson 4-5 R-2; Laura Turdick 2-4 R; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Alicia Pfeinger (3-1-0-0-0-1).

Paynesville 11, Cathedral 1
For the second time this season, the Dogs scored ten runs in an inning, breaking a 1-1 tie against St. Cloud Cathedral on Tuesday, May 2, with ten runs in the fifth inning. The rally ended the conference game, which had been a pitcher's duel, with the Dogs winning 11-1 by the ten-run rule.

With one out in the fifth, 12 straight Bulldog batters reached base on seven hits, three walks, and two Cathedral errors. Key hits were two-run singles by sophomore shortstop Carissa Utsch and senior designated hitter Jess Engler and back-to-back RBI doubles by senior centerfielder Melanie Mages and sophomore catcher Laura Schaefer.

In all, the Dogs had 12 hits in sweeping their season series with Cathedral. It's the first time that coach Tim Woehler can remember beating Cathedral two times in a season. "We hit the ball," he said of the game. "We knew we'd get to (their pitcher)."

The Dogs beat Cathedral 3-1 in April, and sophomore Ashley Ogdahl proved formidable on the mound again for the Dogs, allowing only one unearned runs and two hits in five innings of work.

The Crusaders scored their unearned run in the top of the first, but the Dogs answered in the bottom of the first to tie the game 1-1. Schaefer, who went 3-3 and just lacked a homerun to hit for the cycle, tripled to centerfield in the bottom of the first and scored on a groundout to tie the game.

Cathedral-- 100 00x x - 12 1
Paynesville-- 100 0(10)x x - 11 12 3

Cathedral - Batting: Meyer 1-2; Rothstein 1-2; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Woaken (L) (4.1-9-9-9-3-3); name unavailable (0-3-2-2-1-0).

Paynesville - Batting: Laura Schaefer 3-3 3B 2B R-3; Melanie Mages 2-4 2B R RBI; Chelsey Kalkbrenner 2-3 R; Chelsey Hansen 1-1 R; Carissa Utsch 1-2 RBI-2 R; Jess Engler 1-4 RBI-3; Amanda Skalicky 1-3 R RBI; Ashley Ogdahl 1-3 R RBI; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Ogdahl (W) (5-2-1-0-1-3).

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