RCTC qualifies for region with sweep of Riverland

By Scott A. Kolb

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

Rochester Community and Technical College finished as the state’s No. 1 ranked junior college softball team with Tuesday’s sweep of Riverland in the regular season finale.

The Lady Yellowjackets of RCTC won the opener 9-2, and then won the late game 12-3 in five innings to sweep the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division doubleheader at the Riverland Field.

Wrapping up the No. 1 ranking in the state gives RCTC an automatic to the regional tournament. This means Riverland has to finish as the one or two team from the MCAC South at this weekend’s state tournament to also qualify for the region.


"Rochester is already in the region, so that excludes them, and still leaves two spots from our division into the region," Riverland coach Dave Lillemon said. "We’ll need to play better defense at the state tournament if we want to claim one of those spots at the region.

"RCTC is a really good team and you can’t make defensive mistakes against them. We didn’t play clean defense in either game and they made us pay. There’s a reason why they only have three losses on the season."

Kaylee Newman went all seven innings on the mound for Riverland in the first game and took the loss. RCTC had a total of 17 hits in the win.

Laura Meyer and Thenedra Corey each had a pair of hit for the Lady Blue Devils of Riverland. It was tied 2-2 after the first inning, but then errors on Riverland contributed to a five-run rally for RCTC in the top of the second inning.

The Lady Devils did have a chance to make the score closer in their last at-bat as they put a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the seventh. Mandy May walked with one out and was moved to second on a sacrifice by Meyer.

Corey then beat out an infield hit to keep the first game alive for the Lady Devils. With runners at the corners, the rally fizzled when Jill Radke struck out to end the game.

Problems then started for Riverland pitcher Anna Breault right away in the late game. Breault walked the leadoff batter and that set the stage for an initial three-run rally by RCTC. An error, another walk, and three hits fueled the rally.

RCTC added another run in the top of the second. It was still a competitive game at this point as Breault held the Yellowjackets scoreless in the top of the third. The Lady Devils made it even closer by scoring a run in the bottom of the third inning.


May drew a leadoff walk and made her way around the bases. Meyer followed with a single to put two runners aboard. May then scored on a groundout by Chelsey Swanson.

"With her single in the late game, Laura has now hit safely in all of the 26 games she played in this season," Riverland coach Dave Lillemon said. "We hit the ball pretty good in both games, but defense has kind of been our nemesis all season."

A leadoff walk and another error by Riverland led to a three-run rally for RCTC in the top of the fourth. The Lady Devils countered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Carmen Smith bounced into a fielder’s choice to get on base with one out. Justin Sanvick then doubled to put runners at second and third.

After a bad throw on a pickoff attempt at third, Smith scrambled home with the first run of the inning. Sanvick later scored on a wild pitch.

More errors followed for the Lady Devils in the top of the fifth and RCTC put the game away via the eight-run rule.

Riverland finished the regular season at 15-14 overall and 9-11 in the MCAC South. The Lady Devils open play in the state tournament on Friday morning in Sauk Rapids.



First game

RCTC 250 200 0 — 9 17 1

Riverland 200 000 0 — 2 9 4

Riverland: Laura Meyer 2-4, run; Thenedra Corey 2-2, 2 walks, run. LP: Kaylee Newman 7 IP, 9 R, 17 H, 1 BB, 1 K.

RCTC 12, RIVERLAND 3, 5 innings

Second game

RCTC 410 34 — 12 13 1

Riverland 001 20 — 3 6 4


Riverland: Meyer 1-3; Corey 1-3; Justine Sanvick 1-1, walk, 2B, run; Jill Radke 2-3; Liz Triplett 1-3; Carmen Smith 0-3, run; Chelsey Swanson 0-3, RBI; Christy Van Dyke 0-1; Andrea Exline 0-0, walk; Mandy May 0-1, walk, run. LP: Anna Breault 5 IP, 12 R, 4 ER, 13 H, 3 BB, 2 K.

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