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Softball: Raiders keep on winning

Monday, May 10, wasn't a bad day for Hastings High School senior Jenelle Trautmann. She pitched a no-hitter, had two hits and knocked in one run in a 4-0 win over Park in a Suburban East Conference softball game.

Trautmann is one of the many reasons the Hastings softball team is among the state's best again this season. The Raiders are 16-3 on the season and have won 12 of their last 13 games. Included in those wins were three at Saturday's Benilde-St. Margaret's tournament, where Hastings dismantled the competition, outscoring its three opponents by a combined score of 26-3.

"We really hit the ball over the weekend," Hastings coach Dean Robinson said. "We had 32 hits, and our pitchers struck out 30 batters. It was just an all-around team effort. It was just awesome to see them come together for three games like that."

Hastings opened play against Visitation and won, 8-0.

Trautmann struck out 16 batters.

Katie Nelson, Jordan Schaffer and Katilin Stark each had two hits. Schaffer had a two-run double as well.

In the tournament's second game, Hastings beat Rosemount, 10-0, in six innings.

Treya Connell pitched for Hastings and had nine strikeouts and one walk.

Brit Robinson, Schaffer and Connell each had two hits. Schaffer had a triple that would have been a home run in most parks, Robinson said. The games were held at a slow-pitch park, which had deeper fences.

"She just hit a monster bomb," he said.

In the championship game, Hastings beat No. 7-ranked Prior Lake, 8-3.

Trautmann earned the pitching win. She struck out five for the Raiders.

Stark had four hits to lead the way at the plate.

Hastings trailed 3-0 until the top of the sixth inning. In the sixth, Katie Nelson and Schaffer each singled. Trautmann walked to load the bases.

Connell hit a ball to the shortstop, which was misplayed, scoring one run. Connell reached to keep the bases loaded.

Stark singled to score one, Hailey Lundquist singled to score another and tie the game at 3-3.

With the bases loaded, Robinson hit a long double that bounced off the fence to clear the bases and put the Raiders up 6-3.

In the seventh, Connell reached, Stark doubled and Stef Wical doubled to score two.

Hastings won the tournament two years ago and placed second to Rosemount last year.

"Two years ago, the Benilde tournament was what turned our season around," Dean Robinson said. "That got us on a winning streak. Every year, it's like the Benilde tournament is where we start swinging well and where we start climbing the ladder to be playing our best softball of the year.

"It definitely launched us in the right direction this year also. That tournament just means so much to our team as a whole."

Vs Park

Hastings beat Park on May 10, 4-0.

Trautmann struck out nine and walked one.

"We had a couple errors and one walk," Robinson said. "That was it. Nobody else touched the bases. Jenelle pitched pretty solid and our defense was fairly strong.

"Jenelle is just a great competitor. She doesn't want to let one person get on base any game. She just loves to strike girls out and send them back to the bench where she believes they belong. She's a top-notch player. She's one of the top pitchers in the state, for sure. She's a clutch at-bat, too. It's nice to have a player like that."

In the first inning, Schaffer singled, Trautmann singled and Connell knocked in a run.

In the second inning, Lisa Kranz walked, and then Robinson hit a ball over the fence for a two-run homer and Hastings took a 3-0 lead.

In the seventh, Schaffer hit a ball that was a home run, too, but umpires ruled the ball had actually gone under the fence, not over it. Regardless, Trautmann came up and doubled her in for the final run.

Vs White Bear Lake

Hastings beat White Bear Lake Wednesday, May 12, 6-1.

Connell pitched a gem, striking out 14 batters and walking nobody. The lone run by the Bears was unearned.

"Treya was just lights-out," Robinson said. "She was just blowing it by the batters. She had them fooled all day. It was definitely a nice performance by her."

In the first inning, Robinson singled, Nelson reached on an error and Schaffer walked. With the bases loaded, Connell singled in two runs. Stark singled to score the team's third run of the inning.

In the third, Connell singled, Stark walked and Hailey Lundquist singled to score a run.

In the fourth, Schaffer walked (one of four in the game for her), Trautmann singled and then the two moved up on a wild pitch. Stark reached on an error and two runs scored.

Vs East Ridge

Hastings beat East Ridge on Monday, May 17, 5-1.

Trautmann pitched for Hastings and struck out nine while walking four.

Hastings got an early lead on the Raptors, scoring one run in the first inning.

Nelson walked, Schaffer reached, Trautmann walked and Connell hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score one run.

In the third, Robinson walked, Nelson advanced her and Schaffer doubled to score Robinson.

In the fourth, Marisa Holmes singled, Lori Bauer walked and Robinson walked to load the bases. Nelson doubled to score three runs.

Wrapping up

Hastings had one regular season game left to play Wednesday at home against Woodbury.

The Raiders will now set their sights on winning their third consecutive section title. This year's tournament will look much different than the last.

The top four seeds of the tournament will each have home playoff games. Hastings will be one of those teams, and will play here Wednesday, May 26.

Who Hastings plays will be up in the air until the section seeding meeting is concluded this week.

Regardless, Hastings will have to win that game to advance. The first round of the tournament is single elimination.

If Hastings wins their game on the 26th, they'll travel to Austin for a four-team double elimination tournament to determine the section champion.