Raiders fastpitch working for the post-season

With a regular lineup consisting half of veterans and half of new varsity players, the Roseville Area High School fastpitch softball team is using the regular season as prep for the playoffs. Head coach Julie Standering is counting on the experienced players to help coach and nurture the newcomers.

Whether Roseville’s plan is successful won’t be known until late May.

“They have their sights set on sections,” said Standering, who is in her fifth season as the Raiders’ head coach. “We’re taking it a game at a time but using each game to get ready for sections.”

Roseville opened the season with a pair of shutout losses to Woodbury, which is a serious contender for the Suburban East Conference title, and Forest Lake, a team that is always in the mix in the conference and its section.

Since then, Roseville is 4-1 with victories over East Ridge, White Bear Lake and Cretin-Derham Hall in the Suburban East Conference and Rosemount in non-conference play.

“With each game, we’re getting better, stronger,” Standering said. “We’re hitting it and now we’re stringing it together.”

Against Cretin-Derham Hall on April 15, Roseville trailed 1-0 before Ebony Campbell and Toni Bishop teamed up to even the score. Campbell led off the fourth inning with a single to left field and took second when Cretin couldn’t get the ball back to the infield in a timely manner. Bishop then drove in Campbell with a two-out double down the left field line.

An inning later, Roseville did some more two-out hitting as Aryka Knoche, Hannah Schmidt and Campbell rapped consecutive singles. Knoche scored on Campbell’s base hit and Schmidt and Campbell crossed the plate on Emma Hylen’s double to right field.

Hylen also got the win in the circle with a complete-game effort as she gave up one run on six hits. She struck out seven and walked three.

Hylen, Bishop and Knoche are captains along with Trish Sherman and Brittany Boss. Standering likes what she has seen from the quintet in terms of their leadership.

“They all lead in their different ways and they also compete,” Standering said.

Joining Hylen as the main pitching option is Knoche, a junior who has been sharing circle time with Hylen, a senior headed to Iowa State next year, for a number of years.

“We have two phenomenal pitchers,” Standering noted. “And Toni (Bishop) is calling a great game with our pitchers.”

Following the Cretin victory, Roseville got into a slugfest with Mounds View on Friday and lost 9-6. The Raiders bounced back the next day to top Rosemount 1-0 as Hylen threw a one-hitter and struck out 10.

Roseville is action three times this week. The Raiders were scheduled to face Park-Cottage Grove on Monday, past the deadline for this edition of the Review. They play at Stillwater on Wednesday and host Woodbury on Saturday.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


2015 Roseville Area High School fastpitch softball schedule

April 22    at Stillwater    4:15 p.m.
April 25    vs. Woodbury    1 p.m.
April 27    vs. Forest Lake    4:15 p.m.
April 29    vs. East Ridge    4:15 p.m.
April 30    at Edina    4:15 p.m.
May 1    vs. White Bear Lake    4:15 p.m.
May 2    at Cretin-Derham Hall    noon
May 4    vs. Mounds View    4:15 p.m.
May 6    at Park-Cottage Grove    4:15 p.m.
May 8    vs. Stillwater    4:15 p.m.
 

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