Softball: Randolph splits Thursday, to play for third
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."