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RCTC eliminates Blue Devils softball team with a pair of walk-off hits

The Blue Devils saw their season end after a pair of heartbreaking losses to Rochester Community and Technical College in the NJCAA Region 13A softball tournament in Riverland Friday.

The Yellow Jackets won the opener 3-2 after Caitlin Donahoe drilled a one-out walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh and RCTC won the elimination game 3-1 when Halie Damon drove a two-out pitch over the center field fence for a three-run walk-off homer.

Thenedra Corey gave RCC a 1-0 lead in the second game when she doubled and scored in the top of the seventh on a Justine Sanvick groundout. Minutes later she was watching the game deciding homer fly over her head in center field.

“Everyone was really intense and pumped up (after scoring),” Corey said. “Then we saw that hit right off that bat and you felt it. I knew it was gone, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

RCTC’s Kelly Shaner came up with a two-out single to set up Damon’s blast.

In the first game, RCTC’s No. 9 hitter Katey Krohnberg smacked a one-out double and Donahoe came through with the game winning hit to finish 4-for-4.

“I thought about (intentional walking Donahoe), but it’s not like we’re walking a .400 hitter to get to a .200 hitter. We would’ve walked a .400 hitter to get to another .400 hitter,” Swift said. “It’s kind of pick your poison and it was a good pitch that she hit. Sometimes you have to tip your hat.”

RCC had several chances to take the lead in the first game as they left eight runners on base and four in scoring position.

Their best chance came when Chelsy Swanson led off the fourth with a double, but RCTC pitcher DeAnna Mock, who was voted tournament MVP, retired the next three Blue Devils in order.

RCTC opened the first game by scoring two unearned runs off a dropped fly ball and a misplayed bunt by the Blue Devils.

“That’s not going to take every thing away, but dropping that fly ball changed the game,” Swift said.

The Blue Devils tied the game up at two in the top of the second when Swanson knocked in Corey with a single to right field and Mandy May knocked in Swanson with a two-out bloop single to center field.

RCC finished with a school record in wins as they finished 31-12 on the season, but its ultimate goal was to get to nationals, which is where the Yellow Jackets are now headed.

“It’s Rochester and no one wants to lose them,” Corey, a sophomore, said. “But we went farther than last year and all we can do is hold our heads high. I improved a lot from last year and the team improved.”

Corey, catcher Laura Meyer, and pitcher Autumn Jurgensen were all named to the all-tournament team for RCC.

The Blue Devils played as the road team in both games because they lost both coin flips.

RCC 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 — 2 8 2

RCTC 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 3 7 3

RCC pitching: Autumn Jurgensen (L), 6 1/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER

RCC hitting: Holly Waltz, 1-for-4; Laura Meyer, 1-for-4; Jessica Wilde, 0-for-4; Liz Triplett, 1-for-4; Thenedra Corey, 1-for-2, double, R, BB; Justine Sanvick, 1-for-2; Chelsy Swanson, 2-for-3, double, RBI; Chelsey Waltz, 0-for-3; Mandy May, 2-for-3, RBI

RCTC pitching: DeAnna Mock (W), 7 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 2 K

RCTC hitting: Caitlin Donahoe, 4-for-4, 2 doubles, RBI; Amelia Jajowka, 1-for-3; Anna Ramboldt, 0-for-3; Kelly Shaner, 1-for-3, RBI; Halie Damon, 1-for-3; Rachel Lyke, 0-for-3; Melissa Farrel, 0-for-3; Erin Hain, 0-for-3; Katey Krohnberg, 1-for-3, double

RCC 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 4 0

RCTC 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 — 3 11 0

RCC pitching: Jurgensen, 6 2/3 IP, 11 H, 1 BB, 3 ER, 1 K

RCC hitting: Holly Waltz, 0-for-3; Meyer, 1-for-3; Wilde, 0-for-3; Triplett, 1-for-3, double; Sanvick, 1-for-3, RBI; Swanson, 0-for-3; Chelsey Waltz, 0-for-2; May, 0-for-2

RCTC pitching: Mock (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 K

RCTC hitting: Donahoe, 0-for-4; Jajowka, 0-for-3; Shaner, 2-for-4; Damon, 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, R; Lyke, 1-for-3, double; Melissa Farrel, 1-for-3; Hain, 2-for-3; Krohnberg, 0-for-1, BB