Hastings softball team stopped at section tournament
Heading into Tuesday night's section softball games in Austin, the Hastings Raiders had an 18-game winning streak going in the tournament. The streak stretches back for years, and this year's team had added two wins to the total.
Hastings beat Northfield last Wednesday and then knocked off top-seeded Rochester John Marshall on Friday in Austin.
That set up Tuesday's games. And that's when the win streak came to an end.
Hastings lost a nail-biter to Farmington in the first game, 4-3, and then lost to John Marshall in the second, 9-8. The two losses ended the season for Hastings, which finishes the 2012 campaign with a 9-14 overall mark.
"There were a lot of tears last night," coach Dean Robinson said Wednesday.
The two losses were certainly indicative of how the season went as a whole.
Of the 14 losses, nine were by two runs or fewer. In many games, errors and a lack of timely hitting spelled doom for the team.
"I just feel like that's on me, as a coach, for not getting them ready," Robinson said. "I didn't make them better throughout the season. I just feel like we were consistent all season long and never really came out of our shell and performed like I thought we would be able to do at the end of the season."
Hastings had a wealth of experience returning to this year's team after winning a state title this season, but many players had new roles on the team. Still, the team is young, and Robinson is optimistic about the future.
"We have a lot to build on, for sure," he said. "This puts a sour taste in their mouth that they, hopefully, don't want to have anymore. We need to get back on track here and win some games."
The game was the final one for seniors Katelin Stark, Lori Bauer, Kelsey Nelson, Jordan Marshall and Nicole Human.
"It was tough for them to play in their last game, but hopefully they learned a lot and can keep going forward," Robinson said. "There are a lot of good kids in there that will definitely be missed."
Hastings lost to Farmington in the first game on Tuesday night, 4-3.
Hastings had a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning, but couldn't hold on to win.
In the third inning, during a Hastings rally, umpires called Hailey Lundquist out for failing to tag up on a play. Robinson disputes that call and was right there, he said, to see Lundquist tag.
Farmington scored two runs in the bottom of the third and then tied the game in the fourth.
In the bottom of the sixth, after two strikeouts, Hastings had an error that allowed a runner to reach base. A double scored her, and that was the winning run.
While the missed call relating to Lundquist's potential run was a hard pill to swallow, it was even harder for Robinson to swallow the fact that Hastings left 11 runners on base.
In the night's second game, Hastings lost to Rochester John Marshall, 9-8.
Hastings fell behind 6-1 after two innings, then came storming back.
Hastings added two runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh to take an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning.
In the seventh, an error played a role in a John Marshall rally that almost ended with them winning it. Lundquist had a big defensive play, though, throwing out a runner at home, where catcher Rachel Thomas tagged out the runner.
That sent the game into extra innings tied 8-8.
In the eighth, John Marshall hit a walk-off home run and won, 9-8.
Lundquist had three hits, as did Thomas.
Recording two hits apiece were Shelby Wassink, Lori Bauer and Kaylynn Johnson.
Hastings beat John Marshall on Friday night, 9-8.
On Wednesday, Hastings got the section tournament started with a 10-2 win over Northfield.
In that game, Hastings scored six runs in the first inning, three in the second and one in the third to pull away.
Courtney Van De Velde had a strong night pitching for Hastings.
"She did a great job of hitting her spots and putting the ball in play," Robinson said. "Our defense made the plays behind her. That's Courtney's job - to strike out a few, here and there, and put the ball in play and let our defense scoop the ball up and make plays."
At the plate, Hastings got a number of big hits on the night. Stark had a double that scored two runs. Bauer had a single and two RBI. Alex Mohrhauser had a single and an RBI. Nelson had two singles and two RBI.
Van De Velde had an RBI single and Lundquist had an RBI.