Softball: Irish and Tigers enter section playoffs
Section playoffs have arrived for the Farmington Tigers and Rosemount Irish softball teams after a hectic and condensed regular season. The Tigers played 20 games in 29 days, often playing at least six games a week. Meanwhile, the Irish played 18 games in 22 days thanks to a tournament in Shakopee despite the snow.
Both teams ended the regular season with momentum at their backs. Farmington went 6-2 last week, including go undefeated in Mankato to win the Mankato East Tourney championship. The Tigers and Irish played each other back-to-back days due to rain to start the week, with Rosemount winning 9-1 on Monday and Farmington 10-4 on Tuesday. Last Wednesday, the Tigers also split a doubleheader with Eastview, losing game one 3-1 and then taking game two 4-3. From there, they traveled to Mankato and beat Mankato East 8-5 on Friday as a warm-up to the tournament over the weekend. Then Saturday, Farmington won three straight over St. Peter (7-0), Cretin-Derham Hall (11-6) and New Ulm (11-2) to end their regular season on a high note and bring home some hardware.
The Tigers have an overall record of 15-5 and went 9-5 in the South Suburban Conference, which was good for a tie for third with Lakeville North. Eastview was second and Prior Lake went undefeated in the SSC to win the championship.
Farmington is the No. 2 seed in section 1AAAA behind New Prague as they try to replicate their state championship run from a year ago. They will start the double-elimination section playoffs Tuesday evening against Rochester Mayo in Farmington. The winner goes on to play the winner of Rochester John Marshall and Rochester Century on Thursday at Todd Park in Austin, Minn. The first two consolation rounds are also on Thursday at Todd Park at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The third winners-bracket game and the next two consolation rounds are on May 29 in Austin. The section championship is May 31.
Two weeks ago, Rosemount dropped both games of a doubleheader to conference-champion Prior Lake 7-3 and 19-5 as part of a mid-season five-game slide. However, after those losses they turned things around with a 6-5 win over Burnsville and split two games with Shakopee on back-to-back days 6-3 (loss) and 3-1 (win). Last week, the Irish started with the split with Farmington before going on to sweep a doubleheader against Eagan 6-2 and 11-5. After that five-game hiccup the first week of May, Rosemount ended the season as winners of five of their last seven. They finished the regular season 10-8 overall and .500 (7-7) in the SSC, which put them in sixth ahead of Lakeville South, Apple Valley, Burnsville and Eagan.
The Irish enter section 3AAAA playoffs as the No. 5 seed and will face the No. 4-seeded East Ridge Raptors at East Ridge Tuesday evening in the opening round. Should they win, they would go on to face the winner of No. 1 Park and No. 8 Apple Valley on Thursday. The first consolation round is Thursday, locations to be determined, and the second consolation round is the next day, May 25, at Richfield Middle School. All second round games and on, both winners-bracket and consolation, will be played in Richfield. The third and fourth consolation round games are May 29 and 30, while the winners-bracket semifinals are on May 29. The section championship game is June 1.