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Softball: Randolph splits Thursday, to play for third

Morgyn Otte pitched every inning in each of the two games on Thursday. She allowed three runs against Carlton in the quarterfinals and five runs against New York Mills in the semifinals. The Rockets won in the quarterfinals, but lost in the semifinals allowing them to play in the third place game on Friday. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
The Randolph Rockets celebrate after Megan Erickson hits the walk-off double to earn the victory in the quarterfinals against Carlton. As the players are celebrating, the coaches are smiling at the entire scene. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Meredith Taylor connects on a ball and drives it to the fence scoring a double against Carlton. The Rockets won that game 4-3, but lost in the semifinals against New York Mills on Thursday. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

NORTH MANKATO — It was a lot of firsts for the Randolph Rockets softball team on Thursday.

It was the first time they made the state tournament.

It was the first time they won a game at a state tournament.

It was the first time they had a walk off win at a state tournament.

Finally, it was the first time the fourth-seeded Rockets will be playing for a third place title at state.

"It's been an incredible experience and I'm so proud of our girls for everything they've done this season," said Randolph's head coach Dennis Trom.

The state tournament started off with an unforgettable game for the Rockets as they took on fifth-seeded Carlton. The game started with a two-run home run from Carlton in the first inning, but Randolph would fight back to tie the game.

Then, Carlton took a 3-2 lead and, once again, Randolph tied it.

Finally, it was the Rockets turn to take the lead. And they would take the lead in the last inning possible, which allowed them to win as well.

Morgyn Otte reached base in the seventh inning, continuing the possibility of winning the game, and Megan Erickson stepped up to the plate.

"I was nervous after my last two at-bats," Erickson said. "I wanted to help out my team and luckily it felt good off my bat."

Erickson connected on the ball and it went into the right-center gap, bouncing to the fence. Otte rounded third and came home. When she stepped on the plate, the Rockets won their first state game.

The girls jumped with joy and came running to home plate to join the celebration of advancing to the semifinals.

"It was a fun game and I'm just glad we were able to get the win," Erickson said.

Then, it was on to the second game of the day against top-seeded New York Mills. It was yet another close game for the Rockets, but not in their favor this time.

After three solo home runs for New York Mills, Randolph was facing a 5-2 deficit heading into the last inning. They scored one, but that was it as they came up short.

"Our girls played so well against a tough team that's one of the best in the state," Trom said. "We're not done yet. We still have third place to go win."

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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