Randolph Softball Orange Crush Fizzled, W-E-M Perfect Season Ends
The Randolph Rockets and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Buccaneers are playing for some hardware at the State Softball Tournament Friday. They just are not playing for the coveted championship trophy. The Bucs entered the State Class A Tournament with a 22-0 record and received the #4 seed by the coaches. They opened with #5 seed Badger/Greenbush-Middle River. The Gators beat the Bucs 4-2 and then upended #1 seed, two-time defending State Champion New York Mills 8-4 in the semi-finals.
#2 seed Randolph opened with a 10-2 win over Isle before succumbing to a very good #3 seed Edgerton/SW Christian team 5-1 in the semi-finals. It's the fourth consecutive state title game for the Flying Dutchmen. New York Mills was the two time defending state title holder.
In the Bucs first game they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning following a homer by Autumn Taylor but could only collect three more hits. Junior Trista Hering had 9 strikeouts and allowed 9 hits in the game.
Hering then threw the 4th perfect game in State Tournament history in a 11-0 five inning win over South Ridge of Culver. It was also the 40th no-hitter during the State Tournament.
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown had 8 hits in the win and plays New Ulm Cathedral in the Consolation Championship at 9:00 a.m. Friday. KDHL 920 AM and the KDHL app will carry the game
Randolph will play at 11:00 a.m. Friday against New York Mills in the Third Place game. That game will also be aired on the Mighty 920 and the KDHL app.
It took a few innings for the Rockets to get going in their opener with the Isle Huskies. After Isle had a two run homer in the top of the third inning Randolph responded with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Lindsay Grant opened the bottom of the third inning with a single for the Rockets. She was wild pitched to second With one out number nine hitter Chloe Kimmes was walked on four pitches. The Isle catcher tried to pick off Kimmes at first resulting in an error and placing runners at second and third base. Another strikeout led to the second out of the inning. Megan Erickson then crushed a ball at the feet of the third baseman with the ball skipping into left field. I thought it was a hit, the official scorer ruled it an error. The game was tied.
Shortstop Mckenna Otte had a single for cleanup hitter Meredith Taylor clubbed a two run double. The Rockets would add a run in the fourth inning after a one out walk when Kenna Foss singled. Grant scored on an error by the catcher.
Randolph catcher Erickson opened the 5th inning with a single and scored on three consecutive wild pitches. McKenna Otte had a single and went to second on an error in my scorebook. Taylor flew out to right but Otte scored on the play. There were two more singles that inning but no more damage done to Isle.
The Rockets added 3 more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kimmes opened the inning with a double on a 1-2 count. Following a ground out Erickson hammered a RBI single. McKenna Otte then stroked a triple off the first pitch she saw. Otte would scored on a wild pitch during a strikeout.
Edgerton/Southwest MN Christian pitcher Sierra Van Dyke was not overpowering but mixed speeds and locations well with a very good changeup . She only had 4 strikeouts but allowed just 5 hits for Randolph and never had to pitch under duress.
The Rockets left 4 runners on base but none in scoring position. They never had more than one hit in an inning. It looked to me like they had a great scouting report for the game.
In the top of the fourth inning the Flying Dutchmen scored their first run when cleanup hitter Gabby Buckridge worked the count full before smacking a single to left field. Hannah Narem also had a full count before hitting a double to right center to score the first run of the game.
Randolph answered in the bottom of the fourth when the inning started with a Taylor double. She was sacrificed to third by Maddie Dibble on a great bunt. Taylor then scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrea Splichal. Taylor was so excited she was jumping up and down and gave a high five to Coach Strom before heading to the dugout.
The Rockets never mounted a threat with just one more hit the rest of the way. A lead single by Erickson to start the bottom of the sixth. Erickson never left first base.
The Flying Dutchmen saw #3 hitter Jazzy Prins get a single on a 1-2 count to start the top of the sixth inning before Buckridge smacked her 4th homer of the season over the fence in right center for two runs. It was a 0-2 count.
After two outs Edgerton/SW Christian designated player Addison Fleischman hit a 0-2 pitch for a single. An error resulted in another run scoring to make it 4-1.
The Flying Dutchmen scored another run on a error in the sixth inning.
Edgerton/SW Christian plays #5 seed Badger/Greenbush-Middle RIver for the State Class A Championship 2:30 p.m. Friday at Caswell Park in North Mankato.