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Hastings has high hopes as softball sections open

The Raiders softball team opened section play this week with high hopes.

After finishing third in the Suburban East Conference behind a 12-6 record, Hastings opened Section 1AAA play on Wednesday in a game played after the Star Gazette went to press.

Hastings coach Dean Robinson had high hopes going into the game, where the Raiders drew a No. 3 seed and squared off against the winner of the Red Wing-Northfield game.

"We've had a great season," he said.

The Raiders finished the regular season behind first-place Forest Lane (16-2) and second-place Stillwater (14-3), while improving on a 7-13 mark from a year ago.

Robinson said senior centerfielder Hailey Lundquist has been "the core of our team" through the regular season. He named junior second baseman Michaela Mills and Meagan Friederichs, a sophomore pitcher, as other top players on the 2013 squad.

A win in the second round of sections would send Hastings to semifinal play - a 4 p.m. game Friday, May 24, at Todd Park in Austin.