Raiders beat Mustangs again
Against the two top teams in the Suburban Conference, the Hastings Raiders have played their best softball. That leaves coach Dean Robinson feeling encouraged this week as the regular season starts to wind down.
On Monday, Hastings beat Mounds View, 3-0, on a two-hitter by pitcher Courtney Van De Velde. The sophomore pitcher faced just 23 batters, two more than the minimum, and struck out six.
"She definitely hit her spots, and her defense backed her up," Robinson said. "It was a great, solid game all-around."
Hastings got two of its runs when Hailey Lundquist knocked in two after reaching on an error. Kelsey Nelson had walked and advanced on a bunt by Shelby Wassink. Michaela Mills followed with a single, setting the table for Lundquist. The third run was scored after Van De Velde reached on an error and scored on a single by Nelson, who was 2-for-2 on the day.
It was the second time that Hastings beat Mounds View this season. The Mustangs are in second place in the league standings.
The first-place team, Forest Lake, beat Hastings in a crazy game on Wednesday, 7-5.
Hastings took an early lead on a walk by Wassink and a double by Kaitlin Stark.
In the second inning, though, Forest Lake exploded for six runs. There were four Hastings errors, two walks and three passed balls.
"In one inning, our whole defense fell apart," Robinson said. "We just let down."
Hastings rallied, though, cutting the lead down with one big swing of the bat. Lundquist reached on an error, Rachel Thomas walked and Van De Velde reached on an error. Lori Bauer came up and hit a grand slam and Hastings got back in the game, but it wasn't enough to overcome that rough second inning.
Earlier in the season, Hastings lost to Forest Lake, 2-1. Hastings had the bases loaded with nobody out in that game and couldn't get the tying run across, let alone the winning run.
"I feel like we should have beaten Forest Lake both times we played them," Robinson said. "We played the best teams in our conference better than the teams that aren't doing so well. Hopefully, we can get all these kinks worked out and be ready to go here at the end of the season."
Hastings lost to Cretin-Derham Hall on Thursday, 4-2. C-DH got all of its runs in one inning. Hastings led, 2-0, until the sixth inning when Cretin scored its four runs.
Stark and Wassink each had two hits to lead Hastings.