East Ridge softball: Raptors edge Royals in intra-district showdownWith wins over intra-district and Suburban East Conference rivals Park and Woodbury, the East Ridge softball team is the early queen of District 833.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
With wins over intra-district and Suburban East Conference rivals Park and Woodbury, the East Ridge softball team is the early queen of District 833.
East Ridge (4-4; 4-4 SEC) beat Woodbury 4-1 on Monday, April 23, after topping Park 6-5 on Tuesday, April 17.
“Today we completed a first-half sweep of Park, Woodbury and Hastings. That’s a good thing for East Ridge,” East Ridge head coach Tom Nemo said. “The kids look forward to those games. That was a nice win over Woodbury.”
In addition, the Raptors dispatched of Roseville 5-0 on Wednesday, April 18, but fell 6-2 to Stillwater in another pair of conference contests last week.
“We’ve been playing very well,” Nemo said. “I know our record is 4-4, but it could easily be 7-1, and we’re very young and very talented. That’s the nice thing. We’re maturing and moving in the right direction.”
In Monday’s win over Woodbury, East Ridge went up 2-0 in the first inning – scoring two runs with two outs – which proved to be the difference and starting pitcher Kelsey Ihns kept the Royals (1-7; 1-7 SEC) off balance all evening. The sophomore hurler celebrated her birthday by throwing a five-hitter, allowing one earned run (in the top of the seventh inning) while striking out three.
“She spotted her pitches very well today,” Nemo said. “For a sophomore to do that is very nice to see.”
From the plate, freshman Ali Robinson led the way, going 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk to help lift the Raptors over the Royals.
“That’s a team I thought we could play with and we did,” Nemo said. “We made a couple mistakes, but the mistakes we made didn’t cost us. We made a couple blunders, but found a way to work out of it.”
In the win over Park (4-6; 3-5 SEC) last week, the two rivals went to extra innings. Tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning, senior Taylor Lemay stroked the first pitch she saw up the middle to win it for ER. Lemay was 2-for-5 in the game with 3 RBI against her former team.
In the Raptors’ other win last week, 5-0 over Roseville (2-6; 2-6 SEC), East Ridge pitcher Michaela Anderson threw a gem. The sophomore went all seven innings, allowing five hits, no runs and striking out eight.
“We have three sophomore pitchers, one that we haven’t used yet,” Nemo said. “Ihns and Anderson have pitched well. But, there’s going to be growing pains.”
Next, East Ridge plays host to Cretin-Derham Hall (2-5; 2-5 SEC) on Wednesday, then welcomes Forest Lake on Friday and travels to White Bear Lake (5-2; 5-2 SEC) on Saturday. Forest Lake is 8-0, ranked third in Class AAA and leads the SEC.
“In this conference, you don’t take a day off,” Nemo said. “You start looking at who beat who and whatever and you’ll lose. You have to come to play and take care of your own business.”