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Softball: An unusual feeling for Irish softball

It might take a while for the sting of Monday's loss to wear away for the Rosemount softball team.

A day after the Irish lost 5-4 to Eastview in the first round of the section tournament, Rosemount coach Jim Matheson said he was, "just alright." The disappointment was evident.

It's a feeling he and the Irish won't want to experience again.

An early ending to the season is something Rosemount just hasn't had to deal with. In Matheson's nine years as the Irish coach, his teams have never lost in the first round of the section tournament.

But this season ended prematurely.

A 5-0 loss to Lakeville North in the regular season finale was followed with a No.4 seed in the section tournament. Monday, the Irish season ended with a 5-4 loss to Eastview.

"We didn't play as well as we should have," Matheson said. "It's disappointing. it was a good battle. We came out on the short end."

All season long Matheson said Rosemount had a small margin for error. It was true in the last week. After splitting two earlier games with Eastview, including a 7-4 win a week before, the Irish felt it was two equal teams playing for the right to move on.

"I don't think there's any question about it," Matheson said. "The difference (Monday) was they hit the ball pretty good. I thought they outpitched us a little bit. We really thought at the end of the game that it was one of the first games that the defense did not play very well. We made a significant amount of mistakes in the field that led to a number of their runs. That's what happens when you put the ball in play.

"We made enough mistakes where it mattered and they got the best of us."

Rachel Hoeppner pitched all eight innings for Rosemount (14-7, 7-5 Lake), striking out seven. Of the five runs, just two were earned.

Makayla Newberry had three hits and two RBI. Chelsea Wenzel and Laura Bodurtha had two hits apiece. Bodurtha drove in a run and scored another.

"Our hitting was up and down all year," Matheson said. "It seemed like we either scored 10 runs or we scored none. We scored four and we feel that should be good enough to win."