RCTC splits pair in national play
DeAnna Mock overcame an early case of nerves to toss a four-hit shutout as Rochester Community and Technical College open NJCAA Division III National Championship softball play with a 1-0 victory over Suffolk County Community College on Thursday.
Mock, a sophomore from Rochester, walked the first hitter she faced in the bottom of the first. That would be her only walk, however.
"I was nervous," Mock said. "The first inning was all nerves."
That coming from a veteran leader who was an All-American a year ago and helped RCTC placed fourth at the national tournament.
"I think you're always nervous," Mock admitted.
Mock and RCTC got off to a strong start in the second game, leading Brookdale 6-1, only to fall 11-7. Brookdale took advantage of two errors to score five times in the sixth inning.
In the opener, the Yellowjackets scored the game's lone run in the fourth inning on three straight singles by Anna Ramboldt, Kelly Shaner and Halie Damon.
Damon's hot bat helped RCTC take a five-run lead in the second game. The Kasson native went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Another big hit was a solo home run by Stewartville's Erin Hain leading off the second inning.
"It feels awesome," Hain said of the home run.
"It was a high fastball," the left-handed hitter added. "I've been struggling a little so it was nice to finally crank on one."
Brookdale tied the game with a three-run double by Christian Masitti in the fourth inning and a two-run homer by Sam Deixler in the fifth. The Jersey Blues managed a lot of two-strike fouls against Mock to keep at-bats alive.
"We kept battling and after a while we got some hits," Brookdale coach Bo Scannapieco said. "I hope we play better tomorrow (Friday)."
Damon's fielder's choice RBI grounder in the sixth gave RCTC a short-lived 7-6 lead. Mock then got the first two outs in the bottom of the inning. But an error started a Brookdale rally. After a double tied the score another error put Brookdale ahead and the Jersey Blues followed with three more hits for a five-run inning and an 11-7 lead.
"They were hitting the ball hard," RCTC coach Jean Musgjerd said. "What can you do except try to get that third out?"
Brookdale collected 14 hits in the game, six for extra bases.
"We knew they had a good hitting team," Mock said.
The Yellowjackets, who placed fourth in the nation a year ago, need two wins today to be just one of three teams to make it to Saturday's championship round. RCTC would need to win five straight games to win its first national title. It faces Monroe today at 10 a.m.
"We just have to shake it off and get the next game," Mock said.
RCTC 1, Suffolk 0
RCTC 000 100 0 — 1 6 0
Suffolk 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
RCTC: Caitlin Donahoe 1-for-3; Amelia Jajowka 1-for-3; Anna Ramboldt 1-for-3, 1 R; Kelly Shaner 1-for-3; Halie Damon 2-for-3, 1 RBI. WP: DeAnna Mock 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K.
Suffolk: Samantha Carcano 1-for-2, 1 SB; Kim Konklewski 1-for-3, Cherie Wagenstein 1-for-3, Alyssa Ruggiero 1-for-3. LP: Jade Geddrie 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
Brookdale 11, RCTC 7
RCTC 112 201 0 — 7 8 2
Brookdale 100 325 x — 1 14 3
RCTC: Caitlin Donahoe 2-for-5, 1 R; Amelia Jajowka 2 R; Kelly Shaner 1-for-3, R; Halie Damon 3-for-4, 1 R, 4 RBIs; Erin Hain 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR; Katey Krohnberg 2 RBIs. LP: DeAnna Mock 6 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
Brookdale: Kara Kelsey 2-for-4, 1 R; Sam Dugan 2-for-3, 1 R, 3 RBIs, 2B; Tracey Stein 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 2B; Kerilyn Svenson 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 2B; Christina Masitti 2-for-3, 3 R, RBI, 1 3B; Sam Deixler 3-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBIs, 1 HR; Vanessa Flores 1-for-3, R. WP: Svenson 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; Lauren DeMauro 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.