Hastings softball team wins its fourth consecutive section title
They did it again.
On Tuesday night in Austin, the Hastings softball team won its fourth straight section softball title, beating Rochester John Marshall, 6-0, in the finals.
Through four games in the tournament, Hastings outscored its opponents by a combined score of 29-1.
"It was just a huge section tournament for us," coach Dean Robinson said. "The defense stepped up. The pitching was fabulous and we just hit the ball all over the place."
Against John Marshall, Hastings pitcher Treya Connell earned the win. She struck out 11 and allowed just two hits.
At the plate, Michaela Mills got the Hastings offense going in the first inning with a single. She eventually scored on a fielder's choice by Kaitlin Stark.
In the fifth inning, freshman catcher Rachel Thomas singled. Jordan Marshall ran for Thomas and scored on a single by Mills. Hailey Lundquist then singled to knock in Mills.
In the sixth inning, Stark singled and then Stef Wical tripled to knock her in. Wical scored on a wild pitch.
Thomas drew a walk. Marshall, again running for Thomas, scored on a single by Britt Robinson.
Hastings will play the winner of the Section 3AAA tournament in the first round of the state tournament. The games are played at Caswell Park in North Mankato. Hastings will play at 9 a.m., Thursday, June 9.
The Section 3AAA championship game was planned for Wednesday night between No. 1 ranked Burnsville and Bloomington Jefferson.
"We're playing our best softball right now," Robinson said. "Losing 11 players from last year, you just never know how they're going to react. How they're going to play.
"It's just been a great season. It's a great group of girls. They're busting their butt out there."
Hastings beat Rochester Century in the first game of the section tournament, 10-0, in five innings. The game was played at HHS.
Connell pitched a no-hitter in the win. It was her third straight no-hitter.
She struck out 10 in just five innings of work.
"She was just hitting her spots," Robinson said. "It was her movement -- I don't think (Century) had seen that kind of movement. The movement Treya has is something they hadn't seen up until that point of the season."
The no-hitter was preserved in part after a great play by Kaitlin Stark, who is the team's right fielder. A Century batter hit a ball hard to right field, and it landed in front of Stark. She raced to the ball, picked it up and threw a strike to first baseman Stef Wical. The Century batter was out by a couple steps, and the no-hitter was preserved.
"That's what she did last season when (Jenelle Trautmann) had the perfect game in Austin," Robinson said. "The last out was on the same kind of play. It seems like pitchers get all the glory, but the defense behind them makes it happen."
Hastings had a great day at the plate against Century.
Britt Robinson went 3-3 with a triple, a double and two RBI.
Wical had two hits and two RBI.
Hailey Lundquist knocked in two runs with a double.
Hastings beat Farmington, 5-0, in the second round of the tournament. The game was played Friday in Austin.
Connell struck out 16, issued no walks and allowed just three hits.
Michaela Mills had one hit and one RBI.
Lundquist had two RBI.
Stark had her first home run of the season, a solo shot.
Rachel Thomas had an RBI double.
Also on Friday night, Hastings beat Rochester John Marshall, 8-1. Connell struck out 16 again. She allowed just three hits and didn't walk a runner.
At the plate, a number of Hastings players had big nights.
Robinson had a double and a solo home run.
Mills was 2-4.
Lundquist was 3-4.
Connell was 2-3 with an RBI.
Wical was 2-3 with an RBI.
Lori Bauer had two hits, both of which were quite memorable. She had a solo home run, then a two-run home run.
Hastings broke the game open in the fifth inning with four runs.
"We just hit the ball really well, and we had some really good baserunning," Robinson said.
Connell was the KARE 11 prep athlete of the week this week.
Robinson was the Pioneer Press athlete of the week.
Hastings has a 20-2 record on the season and is ranked No. 4 in the state.