Lady Jackets sweep Riverland
AUSTIN — Taking the field for the first in three weeks didn't slow down Rochester Community and Technical College in a sweep of Tuesday's softball doubleheader against Riverland.
The visiting RCTC Yellowjackets scored nine runs in the first two innings to turn the first game of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division twinbill into a rout. RCTC added more runs over the next three innings for a 15-0 win.
Both of the division wins for RCTC came via the eight-run rule. The second game was closer with Riverland rallying from an early six-run deficit. In the end, the Lady Jackets had plenty of offense for a 12-4 win to complete the sweep.
After playing 14 games in a spring training trip back in March, the RCTC women didn't take the field last week due to forfeits from Fergus Falls. So this was their division opener and they played well in sweeping a key rival.
"It was nice to come out and score a lot of runs right away," RCTC coach Jean Musgjerd said. "We hadn't played for three weeks and they were ready to hit."
Scoring two runs in the top of the first inning was merely a warm-up for RCTC. The visitors batted around in the second inning and scored seven runs.
Singles from Katie Melver and Katie Busse started the big rally. A walk to Halie Damon then loaded the bases. A ground ball and RBI followed from Brittany Johnson. Anna Ramboldt next delivered a two-run double to break the game open.
Errors compounded the misery for the Lady Devils and pitcher Bridget Bergstrom. In marked contrast, RCTC pitcher Erin Hain was perfect for the first three innings. Hain allowed only one hit and struck out four in the win.
Rachel Tate hit a two-run double in the third inning to put the run total into double figures. The only blemish for Hain came on a leadoff double by Michelle Lee of Riverland in the bottom of the fourth. She was later doubled-up on line out and Hain then set down the last six batters.
Defensive mistakes by RCTC in the late game allowed Riverland to hang around for a time. Still, the Lady Jackets had plenty of offensive run production to put the game away.
Laura Carnell went five innings for the win and the four runs allowed were all unearned. Ramboldt had a big game with three hits and Damon went 4-for-4 to complete the sweep.
RCTC (8-8 overall, 4-0 MCAC South) plays Ridgewater in its home opener on Friday.
RCTC:Halie Damon 2-for-2, 3 walks, 4 runs, RBI; Brittany Johnson 1-for-3, run, 2 RBI; Anna Ramboldt 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBI; Jordan Nelson 2-for-4, run; Rachel Tate 2-for-4, 2B, SB, run, 2 RBI; Brittany Crowson 0-for-2, RBI; Melissa Farrel 0-for-4, RBI; Katie Melver 2-for-3, 2B, walk, 3 runs; Katie Busse 1-for-3, 2 runs, RBI. WP:Erin Hain 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K.
RCTC:Damon 4-for-4, 2 2B, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Johnson 0-for-2, walk, run, 2 RBI; Ramboldt 3-for-4, 4 SB, 3 runs, 2 RBI; Nelson 0-for-2, 2 walks, run; Tate 0-for-3, walk, RBI; Sultana White 1-for-4, 2 RBI; Farrel 2-for-4, RBI; Melver 0-for-2, 2 walks, 2 runs; Busse 1-for-1, 2 walks, 3 runs. WP:Laura Carnell 5 IP, 4 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K.