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Softball: Irish finish above .500

Pitcher Gabby Sprang delivers the ball for Rosemount during a game earlier this season. The Irish finished their regular season 8-6.

The Rosemount softball team won four out of seven games in a busy final week to complete their first above-.500 regular season in three years.

The Irish finished with an overall mark of 8-6 and a 4-6 record in the South Suburban Conference, good enough to earn them the No. 7 seed in Section 3AAA and a first-round home game against 10th-seeded Apple Valley Wednesday afternoon.

The winner will take on No. 2 seed Eastview in the second round tomorrow afternoon.

The regular season came to a close with a 4-0 loss to Lakeville North on Monday afternoon. The positive was the Irish played errorless defense after struggling with fielding at times during the week.

"We are inconsistent. One game we will have two errors and the next day five. That is not going to cut it in this conference and the players know that. The coaches are remaining positive and are focusing on learning from the mistakes," Rosemount coach Tiffany Rose said. "There is no time to practice, so the team has been talking a lot about the mental side of the game."

The Irish were successful both at the plate and on the mound over the weekend when they defeated Cannon Falls (2-0) and Minneapolis Edison (19-0) at the Cannon Falls Invitational.

Sprang fanned 13 in a three-hitter against Cannon Falls. Stats were not available for the game against Edison.

A day earlier, the Irish had seven errors in an 8-6 conference home loss to Burnsville.

The Blaze broke a 6-6 tie with two runs in the top of the seventh.

Anna Hinderaker and Nichole Johnson each had three hits and Hannah Esselman added two hits.

Sprang and Hailey Martinez each tossed shutouts in a sweep of Bloomington Kennedy (13-0) and Bloomington Jefferson (4-0) last Wednesday.

Hinderaker and Esselman had three hits apiece against Kennedy. Johnson and Madi Van Sickle had two apiece against Jefferson.

Last Tuesday at Eagan, the Irish held a 2-0 lead late before allowing four runs in the bottom of the sixth en route to a 4-2 loss.

Hinderaker, Esselman and Melissa Seldon each had two hits.

"The week, while up and down, gave the players confidence. They know they can compete with anyone if they are on their game," Rose said. "We will find success in the postseason by remaining relaxed and having fun. This team does best when they don't pressure themselves to perform."