Softball: Burnsville blanks Irish
Competing in the Lake and South Suburban Conferences, the Rosemount softball team has faced some of the state's toughest pitchers.
The past few years it was Eagan's Sara Moulton. This year it's been Burnsville's Kelsey Anderson.
Unfortunately for the Irish, they know facing the top pitchers is part of section play, too.
Rosemount's season ended with a 6-0 loss Monday against Anderson and Burnsville.
"Burnsville's is the top team in the state and have been there all year," Irish coach Tiffany Rose said. "Kelsey is a very good pitcher. I felt we did a decent job of putting the ball in play, but we couldn't get solid hits off of her."
The offense had become more consistent for Rosemount as the regular season ended and Rose thought the momentum could continue in the Class 3A, Section 3 tournament.
The Irish ended the regular season last week with a 3-2 win against Eastview and followed with a big 2-1 win against Lakeville North in the opening round of the section tournament.
But Rosemount (6-11, 4-9 South Suburban) managed just one hit off of Anderson on Monday.
"We have been putting good things together at the plate and playing good softball," Rose said. "It just didn't happen (Monday). I think the girls were prepared for Kelsey and I think that they did a decent job at the plate. We hadn't faced a pitched as strong as Kelsey in quite some time. I don't think there are many pitchers similar to her and it made it more difficult to face her."
The Irish were No. 9 seed in the section tournament and beat No. 8 seed Lakeville North last week.
Rachel Hoeppner and Melissa Seldon combined on the pitching performance to hold the Panthers to just four hits. Hoeppner and Seldon each added a hit and an RBI. Makayla Newberry and Grace Longman scored runs.
But a win against the higher seed in the opening round meant a matchup with No. 1 seed Burnsville.
"We talked about how we lost to the number one team in the section," Rose said. "If you're going to do down, go down to the best seed. We didn't feel the season ended on a terrible note. Burnsville is a good team. To beat North was a great win. The players leave wanting more, but that's good. You should always want more out of a season."
Rosemount's win over Eastview gave the team three wins in its last four games.
Hoeppner had two hits, including a two-run homer in the third inning. Paige Cero had two hits and a run scored.
"I thought we played very good softball at the end of the season," Rose said. "The last four or five games, they were competing every game. They worked hard and never gave up."