Thanks to close wins, Hastings softball team has 12-6 record
An up-and-down season continues bobbing along for the Hastings softball team. The Raiders have a 12-6 record in the Suburban East Conference. That record could be much better if the team wasn't hit hard by giving up some big innings here and there. That record could be much worse if that team hadn't eked out a number of close one-run wins.
The latest in those one-run wins came Tuesday night when the Raiders beat White Bear Lake, 3-2, thanks to a two-run seventh inning.
After a single by Meagan Friederichs, Paige Ahrens came to the plate and hit a two-run homer for Hastings. The Raiders went up, 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, White Bear Lake's leadoff batter hit a home run to make the score 3-2. With runners on first and second and two outs, though, Mikayla Minnaert pitched out of a jam, forcing a ground-out that ended the game.
Hailey Lundquist had a nice day at the plate for the Raiders with two hits and one run.
Including Tuesday's win over the Bears, seven of the Raiders' 12 wins have come in one-run ballgames. Hastings is 7-1 in those games this year.
Defense continues to be either the team's strength or the team's weakness, depending on the day.
"We've been making errors that we don't make in practice," coach Dean Robinson said. "We just think it's a lack of focus. If we can just clean up our fielding a little bit, we'll be OK.
"We've just had that one inning where the defense lets down and the other team takes advantage of it. That's what good teams are going to do. Hopefully, by the end of the season, we will learn from our mistakes and get better."
On Monday, May 6, Hastings won a pair of one-run games over Mounds View.
Hastings won the first game, 3-2, and the second game, 8-7.
In the first game, Meagan Friederichs pitched and earned the win. She allowed six hits and struck out four.
Hastings got on the scoreboard in the third inning on a walk by Michaela Mills, a single by Rachel Thomas and an RBI single by Kaylynn Johnson.
In the sixth inning, Shelby Wassink walked and Paige Ahrens singled. Alex Mohrhauser knocked in one run and then Friederichs knocked in another.
Johnson finished with two hits in the game.
In the second game, Hastings pounded out 16 hits and had just one error.
Mikayla Minnaert was the starting pitcher for Hastings. She was relieved by Friederichs.
The game went into extra innings, with the Raiders winning it in the ninth.
Ahrens singled and Mohrhauser hit into a fielder's choice. Friederichs reached on an error, moving Mohrhauser to second.
Taylor Wickberg delivered a line drive single that scored the game-winning run.
On May 9, Hastings beat Roseville, 6-1.
"We hit the ball pretty well in that one," Robinson said. "We had good baserunning to help get some runs in there. We were able to string our hits together. It was a great team win."
Friederichs earned the win, allowing just four hits.
Hastings had nine hits and no errors in the win.
Hastings lost a pair of games to Stillwater on Monday.
In the first game, Hastings lost 4-1. The Raider batters had 16 strikeouts on the day.
"We weren't adjusting to the pitcher and staying aggressive like we normally do," Robinson said. "We had too many strikeouts looking. Most of the time, we're up there looking to hit the ball. It just seemed like we were back our heels a little bit. We have to get more aggressive with the bat."
Friederichs pitched for Hastings and had a good day, but the Hastings defense struggled, Robinson said.
"She pitched a good game," Robinson said. "It was just our defense behind her."
Hastings had three errors in the first inning, allowing Stillwater to score three runs.
Mills finished with two hits in the game, including a double.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Hastings lost 4-3.
Minnaert pitched for Hastings.
Mills had three hits. Hailey Lundquist had two hits, both of which were doubles, and she had three RBI.
On Friday, May 10, Hastings lost two games to Forest Lake.
Hastings lost the first game, 4-0.
Friederichs pitched for Hastings.
The Raiders had seven hits but couldn't get anything strung together.
Hastings had three errors in the field.
In the second game, Hastings lost 13-6.
Minnaert started and was relieved by Courtney Van De Velde.
In the first inning, Hasting scored three runs. Mills, Thomas and Lundquist all singled then scored on a hit by Wassink.
In the second inning, Mills doubled and scored on a double by Thomas.
In the fifth inning, Friederichs drove in two runs with a double.
Forest Lake got seven of its runs in the fourth inning alone.
Hastings split a doubleheader recently with Park.
Hastings lost the first game, 4-1, and then won the second, 3-2.
In the second game, Mills singled in Mohrhauser, who had singled and advanced on a walk by Alyssa Robinson.
In the fourth inning, Ahrens singled, Mohrhauser singled and Friederichs singled. Mills then doubled to score two.
Park was able to get runners on second and third with two outs in the seventh inning, but Minnaert struck out the batter at the plate to end the game.