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Roseville fastpitch team hitting its stride
During the past three seasons, when some asked Roseville Area High School fastpitch softball coach Julie Standering how her team was doing, she would say “They’re getting there.” Now in her fourth season at the helm, Standering has changed her answer.
Roseville has started out the season 4-0 and Standering believes her squad is no longer “getting there.”
“It’s about that time,” Standering said. “The Raiders are arriving. We’re not getting here, weíre here.”
Roseville picked up wins over Park-Cottage Grove, White Bear Lake and Hastings last week.
Leading the way is the pitching duo of junior Emma Hylen and sophomore Aryka Knoche. Both have been on the varsity roster since they were in middle school and have been big part of the growth of the program. Now that they’ve matured, Standering has taken a different approach as to how she uses them.
“The first three years, I rotated them and this is the first year where I am matching pitchers with our opponents,” Standering said. “I groom my pitchers to know it’s a strategy and it’s not personal, and they’re not taking personal.”
Knoche got the start against White Bear Lake and pitched into the fifth inning before being lifted for Hylen. Knoche gave up three runs on three hits while striking out one and walking three.
Hylen made one mistake when she uncorked a wild pitch that allowed a run to score in the fifth inning. She avoided any more damage in the fifth and was lights-out over the final two innings. Hylen retired all nine batters she faced, including striking out the side in the sixth.
Offensively, Roseville did all of its damage in the first four innings. Knoche walked to lead off the bottom of the first and eventually scored on an error. Brittany Boss led off the second inning with a base hit and later scored on Alivia Garbe’s single.
In the third inning, Toni Bishop singled with one out and scored on a base hit by Boss. Roseville’s final run of the game came via Ebony Campbell’s solo home run in the fourth.
In addition to clutch hitting and pitching, the other ingredient Standering likes is Bishop’s catching.
“We’ve got unbelievable leadership in the mound, a great catcher behind the plate and solid hitting,” said Standering. “We’ve got all the ingredients for a championship team and they deserve it.”
Another thing to note is that Roseville is doing all this with a lineup light on seniors. The Raiders had no seniors play against Park and just one was in the lineup in the White Bear Lake game.
“So we’re very young but I tell ya, they give 100 percent attitude and effort and they’re flat out athletic,” Standering said. “It’s fun to coach.”
One of those missing seniors is shortstop Maria Ascher, who is still recovering from an injury suffered during the basketball season. Standering is unsure whether Ascher will be able to play this spring but if she does she’ll only add to what the Raiders can do.
Regardless of what happens this spring, Ascher is sure to take to the diamond again down the road. She is signed to play Division I collegiate softball at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
Roseville, which began the week tied for first place in the Suburban East Conference with Forest Lake, tries to keep it up with six games this week. The Raiders played a doubleheader at Forest Lake on Monday, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.
Roseville hosts East Ridge on Wednesday, travels to White Bear Lake on Friday and hosts Cretin-Derham Hall in a doubleheader on Saturday.
Brian Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suburban East Conference softball standings
(Through April 27)
|Park-Cottage Grove||3-4||3-4||2 1/2|
|Cretin-Derham Hall||2-7||2-7||4 1/2|
|White Bear Lake||1-7||1-7||5|