Irish try to work their way backIt’s always more difficult to weed your way through the loser’s bracket of a tournament.
By: Chad Hjellming, Rosemount Town Pages
It’s always more difficult to weed your way through the loser’s bracket of a tournament.
While other teams in the winner’s bracket get plenty of rest, those in the loser’s bracket have to play more games and survive for another chance at the title.
And when the loser’s bracket teams get back for a chance at the title, they have to beat the remaining undefeated team twice.
That is the scenario Rosemount’s softball team faced in the Section 3AAA Tournament.
The Irish weren’t daunted by the task, however, as they tried to stay alive.
After losing the section opener, 4-2, to Eastview a week ago, the Irish battled back to win four consecutive games.
The Irish started the comeback trail with a 7-5 win over Bloomington Kennedy.
Rosemount also beat Lakeville North, 8-0, and Park of Cottage Grove, 9-6. After beating Burnsville, 4-0, the Irish lost to Bloomington Jefferson Tuesday night 9-3, ending their tourney and their season.
“We had a nice run going for a while,” Irish coach Jim Matheson said. “We couldn’t quite put it together one more time.”
Against Lakeville North, Angela Phillips shut down the Panthers and Maria Leidner had four hits, including a double. Kayla Goehring also had two hits.
The victory over Park-Cottage Grove was a highlight, as the Wolfpack were predicted to be a state championship-caliber team.
Rosemount trailed 6-1 entering the seventh inning, and a swinging bunt and an error to start the seventh inning led to eight Irish runs and a 9-6 victory.
“It was one bullet after another,” Matheson said of the rally.
Goehring and Kelcy Pollock both singled in a pair of runs, and Paige Carter broke a 6-6 tie with a double that scored three runs.
When you add in the victory over Jefferson, Matheson called the three-game stretch his team’s best of the season.
The season-ending loss started strong when Goehring homered to give Rosemount a 1-0 lead in the third. However, in the bottom of the third inning Jefferson took control of the game.
“We didn’t play that inning very well,” Matheson said of his team’s defense. “Things started to get away from us pretty quickly.”
Finishing the season with a 16-8 record, Matheson was pleased with his young team’s progress.
“We feel pretty good about things,” he said. “We ended up 16-8, which is a half a game better than last year. Considering how young we were, I think it turned out pretty good. A lot of our young kids got a lot of experience and grew quite a bit during the season.”