By Bruce Karnick
The Raiders had the sixth seed in the Section 3AAAA softball tournament, which meant they would be taking the show on the road. Their first stop was Apple Valley to take on Eastview on May 24.
Hastings took the early lead, scoring three in the top of the first and they extended the lead 40 in the top of the second. The Lightning struck in the bottom of the second scoring six and taking the lead for the first time. Hastings scored three more in the top of the third to regain the lead and they held on to that until the fifth, when Eastview scored two to go up 87 Hastings was not finished, and they scored four more in the top of the sixth to regain the lead 118, which is where the game finished.
With winning the firstround game, Hastings moved to take on the numbertwo seed East Ridge on May 26. East Ridge dominated the game winning 81 and bumping Hastings to the playback side of the double elimination bracket.
The final section game took place May 27 at Eagan. Hastings took the lead 10 in the top of the first. Eagan tied it in the second. Hastings retook the lead in the third, 41, but Eagan stormed right back in the bottom of the third to take the lead for good scoring six. At 74, Eagan added three in the next inning to extend the lead 104.
In the top of the fifth, Hastings cut the lead in half, scoring three to make it 107. Eagan scored two more and things were not looking good for the Raiders. Eagan had a fiverun lead, 127, heading into the final frame. With two outs, Hastings started to rally. A threerun home run by Kendal Jenkins closed the gap to 1210. Then Hastings managed to load the bases. A wellplaced single and the game could be tied. It didn’t work out that way for the Raiders, though, and their season came to an end.
Parents, fans and coaches were proud of how this team never gave up despite a few mistakes on the defensive side of the ball. They stayed positive and lifted each other up.