Lauren Granger Hopkins

Lauren Granger slides into home safely for the Hopkins girls softball team during a 5-2 playoff loss to Bloomington Kennedy. (Sun Staff Photo by John Sherman)

Hopkins High’s girls fastpitch softball team finished an 11-14 season by placing third in the Section 6AAAA Tournament last week at Edina’s Pamela Park.

Bloomington Kennedy proved to be the Royals’ nemesis in the playoffs, beating them twice, 4-3 and 5-2.

In turn, Kennedy’s nemesis was Edina, the team that won the title by beating Kennedy twice, 1-0 and 8-0.

“We had seen the Kennedy pitcher [Courtney Kopischke] before, and she’s pretty solid,” Hopkins head coach Carl Yancy said. “Signe Dohse pitched well for us in those games.”

In the 5-2 loss to Kennedy, which ended their season, the Royals were ahead 2-1 before giving up four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kennedy earned those runs with six base hits.

Hopkins battled, but could muster only four hits against the lefthander, Kopischke. Morgan Hawley had two of those hits, while Kelly Boyle and Tori Turgeon each had one.

Before playing Kennedy the second time, Hopkins had an impressive 6-1 victory over an under-rated Minneapolis Southwest team.

Dohse was at her best, pitching a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts. Ruth Freiberg led Hopkins’ attack with two hits, while Lauren Granger, Annika Crouser and Maci Shatirishvili had RBIs.

One of the positives of the tournament was that Hopkins’ young players got five games worth of playoff experience, going 3-2 in the process.

With Dohse, the eighth-grade pitcher, back for four more seasons and Granger, the ninth-grade catcher, back for three, the Royals are surely a team to reckon with in future years.

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