Softball season ends for Hastings with losses to Farmington
Things sure looked good for the Hastings Raiders on Friday night. But things changed in a hurry.
Hastings entered Friday night's section championship against Farmington without a loss in the tournament. That meant Farmington would have to beat Hastings twice to advance to the state tournament this week in Mankato. That was the first positive of the night.
The second? Hastings took a nice 6-3 lead in the first game, and Hastings held that lead going into the seventh inning. That's when things started to turn from good to bad.
Farmington got the ball on the bat, hit a couple balls into the gaps and ended up scoring four runs to win the game, 7-6.
"It was one of those fluky things," coach Dean Robinson said. "We were up by one with two outs and were a play or a pitch away from going to state. They just kept hitting the ball. Sometimes, you have to just say 'Hats off.'"
In the second game, Farmington won, 3-1, ending Hastings' season.
"We hit the ball in that game, but their outfield made some really nice plays, and their infield made some nice stops," Robinson said. "They played, probably, their two best games of the season. It was one of those things. They just played really well."
The bus ride home from Northfield was a sad one for the Raiders, Robinson said. They all had high hopes of returning to the state meet this year.
"Everyone was pretty bummed out, especially the seniors," he said. "Overall, it was a great season. We had some great, great times. Our captains did an outstanding job of keeping everybody focused and helping out. It was a very tight group of kids. I think that's what got us as far as we did -- just how tight-knit this team was. It was a great team to coach."
Megan Friederichs pitched the first game for Hastings. In that game, Michaela Mills had two hits and an RBI. Rachel Thomas had three hits and one RBI. Paige Ahrens and Shelby Wassink also had two hits.
In the second game, Courtney Van De Velde was the starting pitcher. She was relieved by Mikayla Minnaert.
Brooke Weber had a hit and the lone Hastings RBI.
Robinson praised the work of his fellow coaches this year.
Chad Feikema coached the B squad this year, his first with the program.
"It was very nice to have him with us," Robinson said. "He was able to share a lot of knowledge. The girls loved having him around. He was a great addition to the program."
Sara Shoen coached the B squad this season. She was aided by Feikema.
"It was a huge advantage having two coaches at that level," Robinson said. "This year, Sara didn't have to do everything by herself."
Ken Lundquist was a first-year varsity assistant coach for Hastings.
"Ken was exactly what I thought he'd be," Robinson said. "He was a great strategist. He did an outstanding job."
Heather Maier also came back to help out at the end of the season.
"For her to be able to coach toward the end of the season, that was a huge help to the girls," Robinson said.