Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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The Rosemount Irish softball team advanced to the Section 3AAAA semifinals Thursday evening after playing two games over three days in unusual circumstances. The Irish—who are the No. 7 seed—faced No. 2 seed and No. 5 ranked in Class AAAA Park Wolfpack on Tuesday, May 21, and led 3-2 when the game was delayed due to rain. They finished on Wednesday, May 22, with 3-2 being the final and then traveled to No. 6 Hastings on Thursday, May 23. The two teams were scoreless until the seventh when Rosemount scored one run in the top of the inning and held on for the win during the Raiders' final at-bat. The Irish advance to the section semifinals where they will take on No. 1 seed and No. 3-ranked East Ridge in Richfield on Tuesday, May 28. Should they win, they would then face whoever comes out of the consolation bracket on May 31 in Richfield.
He's known as Benny to hockey fans across generations in Hastings, but his name is Steve Benson and after almost two decades with the Hastings girls' hockey program—with a few small breaks—he has decided to step back from the program. Benson's daughter Sam was a senior on the team this past winter and he coached that senior group their whole careers. With Sam graduating, Benson said his plan is to sit back and enjoy his time with family and some neglected hobbies, though he did not rule out the possibility of a return.
Rosemount and Farmington softball faced off last Monday, May 13, in Farmington for their second game of the season and it came down to the very end. Farmington won the first meeting, 4-2, in mid-April and both teams came into the game on very different trajectories. The Tigers were coming off a blowout of Lakeville South had won four out of their last seven, while the Irish were in the middle of a six-game slide. However, the script flipped as Rosemount scored at least one run in the first four innings and held on to beat Farmington 5-4.
The Rosemount Irish boys' tennis team saw their team season come to an end in the Section 3AA playoffs last week. The No. 7-seeded Irish beat No. 10 Park on Tuesday, May 14, in Rosemount (detailed results were not available) but then fell to No. 2 Eagan 5-2 in Eagan on Thursday, May 16. Next up for Rosemount is individual sections on May 24 and 29 at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville.
The Rosemount Irish girls' track and field team secured a Class AAA True Team state championship Friday, May 17, at Stillwater High School after they edged out Wayzata by 14 points. The Irish racked up 1,137.5 team points—eclipsing their section total by 71—and they outdistanced third-place Stillwater by over 100. They had two event champions with senior Lauren Peterson in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs and fellow senior Arianna Passeri in the long jump, as well as numerous top five and top-10 placements. Meanwhile, the Rosemount boys took fourth with 1,051.5 points and were just 42 points out of the top three. The Hopkins boys won with 1,280 points. Senior Max Otterdahl won the shot put and discus for Rosemount while they took had several high finishes.
The Rosemount Irish boys' tennis team played six matches in six days in what was the final week of their regular season before section playoffs. The Irish have had some rough stretches this season as they are a young team with just two seniors and four juniors. They dropped four matches during the week against Eagan, Lakeville South, Hastings and Woodbury and then hosted Stillwater and St. Thomas Academy in a round-robin on Saturday, May 11, in which they lost two close matches as well.
The Rosemount Irish girls' and boys' track and field teams competed at the Section 3AAA True Team meet Tuesday, May 7, at Prior Lake and came away with tremendous results. The Irish girls are Section 3AAA True Team champions with 1,066.5 points—more than 100 head of second-place Prior Lake—while the boys were runners-up with 1,013 points, just 17 points out of first.
The Farmington and Rosemount boys' lacrosse teams came into their Thursday, May 2, matchup in remarkably similar circumstances. Both teams had gotten off to a slow start and had been hit hard by injuries and illness. And both are making adjustments on the fly and just now getting into a groove.
The Rosemount Irish girls' golf team hosted their annual tournament at Emerald Greens Golf Course on Saturday, May 4, in what was probably the nicest day of spring so far. The Irish welcomed 10 teams to Emerald Greens and played on its silver course, which is the longer of the two 18-hole courses there. Rosemount shot a 351 as a team and the top three teams were Edina, Red Wing and Lakeville North.
The Rosemount Irish and Farmington Tigers girls' lacrosse teams faced off in the first game of an Irish/Tiger doubleheader last Thursday, May 2, at Tiger Stadium. Rosemount prevailed 16-6 after scoring six unanswered goals to start the second half. The Irish are now 4-4 overall after beating Burnsville 17-8 last Tuesday, April 30, and falling to Park (8-7) on Friday, May 3, and Prior Lake (19-3) on Monday. Meanwhile, the Tigers are 1-6 after losing to Rosemount and Apple Valley 15-7 last Tuesday.