ROCORI Softball Excited for 2nd Straight State Tournament
The ROCORI softball team is back in the Class 3-A state tournament this week after capturing the section 8-3-A title last week by defeating Sauk Rapids-Rice 6-0 in the section final. The Spartans are 14-9 this season after finishing 14-10 last season. ROCORI was unseeded in the state tournament last season and lost to top seeded Winona in the State quarterfinals 9-0 before falling in the consolation semifinals to Benilde-St. Margaret's 10-0 in 5 innings.
Derek Sauer is the head coach of the Spartans. He says having the experience of playing in a state tournament last season will help this year's teams despite the loss of many seniors from last year's squad. He says they shouldn't be in the shock and awe of the state tournament and would like to be "the underdog that comes through".
ROCORI will play the #1 seed for the 2nd straight year and this time it's Mankato East. Sauer says they will need to be at their best to compete with Mankato East and putting balls in play and minimizing mistakes will be key. Sauer would like to see their hitters eliminate high ball misses. Sauer says they will have 4 pitchers ready and may use all of them.
Sauer says they've been led this season by the top 3 players in their lineup which includes Sophia Hess. He calls her "the brick" because how solid of a player she is. Sauer says she knows the game, is disciplined, and makes necessary adjustments at the plate. Hess is batting almost .550 with 3 home runs. Sauer says catcher Brooklyn Hofer has been their "rock behind the plate". He says she has been a consistent hitter and has good experience. Sauer also talked about senior captain Madison Terres. He says she's batting in the upper 300s and has 6 home runs this season.
ROCORI will play top seeded Mankato East at 11:15 a.m. Thursday at Caswell Park Field 1 in Mankato. The Spartans are guaranteed a 2nd game Thursday at 6 p.m. win over lose against either Becker or Cretin-Derham Hall.
If you'd like to listen to my full conversation with Head Coach Derek Sauer it is available below.
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