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Softball: Offense and defense coming around

Runs weren't easy to come by for the Rosemount softball team in the beginning of the season.

Irish coach Tiffany Rose lamented the fact her squad couldn't connect for key base hits at critical times.

Slowly, the offense has come around this season. And with the defense following suit, Rose might just get be getting the all-around production she knew her team was capable of.

The Irish beat Hill-Murray 7-4 last week and followed with a 7-6 loss on Monday at Lakeville North.

Aside from scoring 13 runs in two wins three weeks ago, it's the most runs in consecutive games for Rosemount all season.

"The bats came alive in those two games," Rose said. "We put the ball in play and good things happened. The girls were more consistent and executed at the plate, which allowed us to score runs."

The execution is giving Rose optimism for a strong finish to her first season as coach.

"The defense has been excellent the second half of the season and the hitting is getting better," Rose said.

The Irish (4-10, 3-9 South Suburban) lost in extra innings against Lakeville North.

Rachel Hoeppner was 4 for 5 at the plate to go along with her strong pitching. Hoeppner has faced 77 hitters over the past three games and was 12 strikeout and one walk.

Summer Lindelin added two hits against the Panthers, including a triple and two RBIs. Ali Fromme chipped in with two hits as part of a 10-hit attack.

However, Lakeville North countered with the winning run in the top of the ninth inning.

"It was too bad that we lost in nine innings because it would have been good momentum heading into our last game and sections," Rose said. "Overall, the coaching staff is pretty happy with where the team is at. It just all needs to come together in the opening round of the tournament."

The section tournament begins today. The tournament seeding was not available at press time.

Against Hill-Murray last week, Hoeppner again led the offensive charge. She doubled twice and was 8 for 11 overall in her last three games with six singles and two doubles.

Fromme had two hits and Melissa Seldon had three RBIs.