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Softball: Irish cap a busy stretch with a win over Kennedy

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The spring weather put the Rosemount softball team in a tough position.

The Irish wanted to play a normal schedule, but several postponed and rescheduled games adjusted the original schedule. It left Rosemount trying to squeeze many of those games back into a packed schedule.

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With five games in five days last week, the circumstances weren't ideal. The Irish were eager to get more game action, but it didn't leave a lot of adjustment time.

"I think that we, coaches and players, were excited to finally play games," Rosemount coach Tiffany Rose said. "Playing five games in a row is tough because there is usually a couple of things that you want to address before the next game. It's fine to talk about it after the game, but there is no time to actually work on the skill with back-to-back games."

The Irish played five straight days and six games over eight days, culminating with a 5-2 win against Bloomington Kennedy on Monday. The win snapped a four-game losing streak from last week.

Rosemount lost 9-5 at Eagan, 2-1 at home against Eastview, 1-0 at No. 1 ranked Burnsville and 5-1 at home against No. 5 ranked Bloomington Jefferson last week.

The win on Monday was an important reprieve for the busy Irish (3-9, 3-8 South Suburban).

"Our win (Monday) was much needed," Rose said. "The girls played very well last week. They competed in every game and that's really all you can ask for as a coach. However, I want them to win games because of how hard they are working and it gives them some confidence going into the next game."

It wasn't easy on Monday, either.

Bloomington Kennedy scored once in the first, but Rosemount recovered.

The Irish scored four runs in the sixth. Laura Bodurtha and Paige Cero reached base with hits and scored on a single from Melissa Seldon. Hannah Esselman added a two-run single.

Cero finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Ali Fromme and Rachel Hoeppner each had two hits.

Hoeppner finished with a strong game pitching-wise, throwing a three-hitter with six strikeouts.

Hoeppner shared the pitching duties with Seldon last week because of the busy schedule.

Hoeppner pitched 19 innings in the last four games of last week, while Seldon chipped in with six innings.

"Seldon throwing had to happen this week," Rose said. "Five days of games would have been tough for Rachel to pitch by herself. Once Seldon shook the nerves off in the Eagan game, she came back and threw three perfect innings against Eastview. She doesn't have a lot of game experience on the mound and quickly learned that if you don't hit your spots at this level, hitters will take advantage.

"Seldon is hard on herself, and I already see her making adjustments in her approach so that she can become better."

The offense improved last week as well, although the positive steps did not result in wins.

Rosemount led 5-0 against Eagan, but lost 9-5. The Wildcats tied the game in the fifth, and scored four times in the sixth.

Hoeppner had two hits, including a home run. Bodurtha had a hit, a run and two RBIs.

"Losing the Eagan game was difficult because things seemed to be going our way," Rose said. "Eagan has big bats and we talked with the girls before that game that we would have to outscore them, because they are going to get hits. We only had one error that game. Eagan made the adjustments at the plate and just outhit us in the last innings.

Bodurtha and Seldon each had two hits against Eastview. Rosemount had scoring chances in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but couldn't push a run across.

Burnsville featured perhaps the state's top pitcher in Kelsey Anderson and the Irish couldn't answer the lone run scored by the Blaze. Hoeppner allowed just five hits in her pitching appearance.

"We still aren't getting the hits we need with runners in scoring position," Rose said.

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