Veteran Knights looking to extend streak

The past two seasons have been the most successful in program history for the Irondale High School fastpitch team. The Knights have won the past two North Suburban Conference championships and made a deep run in the section playoffs last spring.

This year’s team is looking to continue that string of successful seasons and with seven returning starters would appear to be in a good position to do so.

“Our main goal is to make another good run towards conference and in sections,” said Irondale head coach Heather Hyatt.†”We want to stay disciplined in our games and practices, which will hopefully carry over into games.†We also want to make adjustments and keep getting better as the season goes.”

Hyatt has been involved with the team during both of the last two seasons. She was an assistant coach in 2012 and was in her first year as head coach last year.

Among the returning players on this year’s team are junior pitcher Maggie Schley and senior shortstop Veronica Wold. Schley is back after going 9-2 with a 2.97 earned-run average. At the plate, Schley batted .538 with 23 runs batted in.

In addition to anchoring the infield defensively, Wold batted .406 last season.

In 2013, Irondale went 11-3 overall and 8-1 in the North Suburban Conference. That record earned the Knights the No. 2 seed in the Section 5AAA playoffs, where they went 2-2 and finished third.

With seven starters returning, most of the spots in the lineup are set but Hyatt said there are some holes to fill in the outfield.

“We have some freshman and sophomores that are currently fighting for those positions,” Hyatt said. “We are more of a veteran team.†The girls have played together for a long time, know the game well and we have speed this year.”

Irondale opens the season with three straight non-conference games, starting April 10 at home against Duluth Denfeld. The Knights then host Mahtomedi on April 11 and Fridley on April 14. Irondale begins its quest for a third straight conference title with a game at Spring Lake Park on April 17.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.

2014 Irondale High School softball schedule

April 10    vs. Duluth Denfeld            3 p.m.
April 11    vs. Mahtomedi            4:30 p.m.
April 14    vs. Fridley            4:30 p.m.
April 17    at Spring Lake Park            4:30 p.m.
April 21    at Robbinsdale Cooper            4:30 p.m.
April 23    vs. St. Louis Park            4:30 p.m.
April 24    vs. Totino-Grace            4:30 p.m.
April 30    at New Life Academy            4:15 p.m.
May 2    at Lakeville North tournament            4:15 p.m.
May 5    at Columbia Heights            4:30 p.m.
May 7    vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s            4:30 p.m.
May 9    vs. Spring Lake Park            4:30 p.m.
May 10    at Robbinsdale Cooper tournament            Time TBA
May 12    at Benilde-St. Margaret’s            4:30 p.m.
May 13    at Totino-Grace            4:30 p.m.

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