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HHS softball beats Eastview 2-1 in first round of section playoffs

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Senior center fielder Stacy Monjeau tracks down a flyball in right center. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 5
Sophomore catcher Syd Radke traps a ball in the dirt during the Raiders win against Eastview. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
Sophomore right fielder Megan Mattson comes up firing against Eastview. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
Senior third baseman Taeler McVicker dips down and pulls a ball foul. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

The No. 3 seed Hastings softball team beat sixth-seed Eastview 2-1 on Monday, May 22, in the first round of section playoffs. On Friday, May 19, the Raiders lost to Champlin Park 14-12 at home making it the second time Hastings has lost to the Rebels. Hastings finished its regular season with a record of 12-7 and 11-2 in the Metro East Conference, finishing behind North St. Paul who beat the Raiders for the championship May 11.

Champlin Park

Champlin Park jumped on Hastings right out of the gate, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Hastings answered with two runs of their own at the bottom of the inning to cut the Rebels lead to 3-1, however they then walked the first three Champlin Park batters in the top of the second. Head coach Ken Lundquist said they then made a pitching change, bringing in junior Lauren Ernst, who had very little time to warm up. Despite the change, Hastings was down 7-2 after two innings.

“The next thing I know, we are down 14-5 and I’m worried that we’re going to be 10-runned,” Lundquist said. “The bats stayed at it, our defense calmed down a little bit and the next thing you know it’s 14-12. We’ve got the tying run at second with the bases loaded, the winning run at first, but we didn’t get the big hit. But we did come back and make a game of it.”

“Really, the good thing is it wasn’t a section game,” he explained. “Not that it didn’t matter, but it gave us the chance to regroup, talk to individuals about staying focused, and even though it was the last regular season game, that we need to show up every game and be ready to play.”

Section playoffs vs. Eastview

Hastings beat Eastview 2-1 on Monday, May 22, in the first round of section playoffs. Senior outfielder Rachel Reinke won the game for the Raiders with a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Hastings scored its first run in the fourth inning after senior infielder Taeler McVicker reached on an error, advanced thanks to sophomores Syd Radke’s single and Maddelyn Junker’s sacrifice bunt, and then scored on a passed ball. Eastview responded in the top of the fifth with a run of their own after a bunt single, stolen base and a Raider throwing error to third on another stolen base.

In the bottom of the seventh, sophomore right fielder Megan Mattson led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on freshman first baseman Mallory Brake’s sacrifice bunt. Senior center fielder Stacy Monjeau then singled to put runners on first and third with only one out. Senior shortstop Telma Roesler grounded out to third and Monjeau went to second, setting the stage for Reinke to come up with two outs and the winning run on third. Reinke responded with a line drive down the right field line to score Mattson to win the game.

Lundquist lauded his seniors and what they bring to the team, especially in big games.

“Our top four hitters are all seniors and they bring a quality, a leadership and they don’t quit,” he said. “You watch those four that start, they’re never giving up, they’re very positive and they’re great role models for the younger ones to see that you don’t give up, you make a mistake and you move on.”

Sophomore pitcher Kayla Simacek threw a complete game and received the win. She pitched seven innings, allowed only one run on two hits and three walks to go with five strikeouts.

Reinke led the Raiders with the game-winning RBI and went 1-4 with a single. Radke was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with three singles, while Monjeau had two hits and Simacek and Mattson each added one hit.

Hastings plays No. 2 seed Eagan on Wednesday, May 24, at Eagan. With their win over Eastview, the Raiders now enter the double elimination portion of the section playoffs. Should Hastings beat Eagan, they would play the winner of top-seeded Park of Cottage Grove and No. 4 seed Rosemount.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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