Game of the Week: East Ridge, Park softball teams renew rivalryEast Ridge senior standout softball player Taylor LeMay will lead the Raptors against her former team Park on Thursday.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
GAME OF THE WEEK
Who: Park vs. East Ridge
Where: Charlie Whitbred Field, Park High School
When: Thursday, May 3, 3 p.m.
Before East Ridge High School opened, current Raptors standout softball player Taylor LeMay wore a Park jersey. As a freshman, the East Ridge senior catcher was the fifth hitter and an outfielder for the Wolfpack and then-coach Charlie Whitbred. Today, she’ll play her final game at Park High School’s Charlie Whitbred Field.
Earlier this season, LeMay – who will play college softball at the Div. II softball Concordia University of St. Paul next fall – helped East Ridge beat Park with a game-winning single in the 10th inning of a 6-5 game. Lemay was 2-for-5 in the game with 3 RBI against her former team.
East Ridge currently leads the head-to-head series 3 games to 2.
East Ridge and Park field two of the youngest teams in the Suburban East Conference this season.
Park’s roster is compiled of one senior, three juniors, five sophomores, one freshman and two eighth graders. East Ridge is made up of four seniors, no juniors, four sophomores, three freshmen and two eighth graders.
East Ridge is 5-7 overall and 5-7 in the SEC, while Park is 6-9 overall and 5-8 in the SEC.
Park is coming off a 12-1 thumping of rival Woodbury on Monday. East Ridge is currently on a three-game losing streak after losing 8-6 to Forest Lake, 6-3 to Hastings and 5-0 to Mounds View.
Both squads returned a number of key players from last year’s teams. However, each is also trying to replace their aces in the pitching circle this spring. Park lost two-year starting pitcher Cassie MacArthur to graduation. MacArthur was an All-Conference and All-Section pitcher for the Wolfpack. Sophomore Amber Galloway and junior Kennedy Henderson have stepped in in place of MacArthur this spring. East Ridge graduated its lights-out starting pitcher in Sam Gregory, along with backup pitcher and key hitter Alyssa Ronquillo. East Ridge has three sophomore pitchers this year and has relied mainly on two of them – Kelsey Ihns and Michaela Anderson to fill the void on the mound.
Other key players to watch include Park senior Kayla Hemmingson, junior infielder Mary Turitto and sophomore infielder Samantha Flack and East Ridge freshmen twins sisters Allison and Amanda Robinson and eighth grader Megan Tarara.
The teams take the field at 3 p.m. in Cottage Grove.