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Kaylynn Johnson prepares to catch a ball while playing first base against Woodbury on Thursday. She made the play and Hastings went on to win big. (Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson)

Raiders earn four wins in busy week

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It took longer than hoped for the Hastings Raiders to take the field, but so far, it was worth the wait.

Hastings went 4-1 in a busy week, and the team is now 5-1 overall on the season.

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"We're very happy with where we are standing right now," coach Dean Robinson said. "I'm definitely pleased."

Defense will be the key this year, Robinson said.

"We just need to be sure that when we have an error, we put it behind us," he said. "We didn't do that last year. We are fine with one error here and there. We just can't have one after another. It's just a matter of our defense stepping up."

Vs Woodbury

Hastings won big over Woodbury in a doubleheader on Thursday, April 25. Hastings won the first game, 14-0 and the second game, 13-1.

In the first game, the winning pitcher was Meagan Friederichs, a sophomore.

At the plate, a number of players had strong days.

"Hitting was contagious, all day long," Robinson said. "We were able to get on their pitcher and time her right away. Everybody hit throughout the lineup, and we were able to get all the girls in the game."

Michaela Mills had an especially strong day at the plate. She finished with three hits, including a home run and a triple.

Rachel Thomas had two hits.

In the second game, Mikayla Minnaert pitched and earned the win for Hastings.

Hailey Lundquist and Mills each had three hits.

Robinson was very pleased with what he saw from the Hastings defense.

"Our pitchers threw well, and our defense was solid behind them," he said. "We had one error in each game. The pitchers were keeping the ball down, and the defense was playing heads-up.

"It was just a great team effort all the way around."

Vs Roseville

Hastings beat Roseville in extra innings on Friday, April 26, 1-0.

The game was scoreless in the top of the seventh inning when Roseville got the go-ahead run to third base with just one out. A Roseville batter hit a fly ball to left field that Alyssa Robinson caught. The Roseville runner tagged up, but Robinson then threw a strike to Thomas, the catcher. Thomas fielded the one-hopper cleanly and tagged out the sliding runner.

"That was a huge defensive play for us," Robinson said. "That extended the game. Otherwise, they would have won it."

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Alex Mohrhauser walked and Taylor Wickberg advanced her. Robinson then came up and singled to right center, scoring Mohrhauser.

Minnaert pitched the shutout for Hastings, striking out five.

Mills had three hits.

Lundquist and Mohrhauser each had two hits.

Vs East Ridge

Hastings played a doubleheader at East Ridge on Monday and split the two games.

East Ridge won the first game, 9-3.

Hastings won the second game, 7-1.

In the loss, Hastings was up 3-2 when East Ridge took over on a couple hits, a couple walks and a few errors.

"We had more errors in that game than we had in all the other games this season combined," Robinson said.

Kaylynn Johnson knocked in one run, and Paige Ahrens knocked in two.

Friederichs pitched for the Raiders.

In the 7-1 win, the tone was set early for Hastings. Lundquist made a great catch in centerfield for the Raiders, and the game took on a much different look.

"Our defense was definitely more focused," Robinson said. "We adjusted after that first game and the girls kept their attitudes up. To have a turnaround like that was really impressive."

Mills had three hits and two RBI.

Shelby Wassink finished with two hits.

Minnaert pitched and got the win, throwing a two-hitter.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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