Willmar, MN - For the second time this season Ridgwater and RCTC battled to a split in their conference double header this weekend. In a series where a sweep by either team would have earned them a bid in the Region XIIIA softball tournament, neither team was ready to give in. In a tale of two opposites Ridgewater got out early in winning game one 12-3 in 5 innings, before RCTC rebounded with a critical dominating performance in game two 11-4.
Whether it was a case of the jitters or just the effect of the long bus ride, RCTC came out slow against Ridgewater, allowing 9 runs in the first inning and fell behind 10-0 after 2. RCTC added a run in the 4th and two in the 5th, but it was not enough as Ridgewater closed out the game in 5 innings. Mattie Hellerud and Makenzie Swanson were each 2-3 in the game, while Katie Pearson took the loss in the circle, going 4 innings and giving up 12 runs, only 3 of which were earned.
Game two proved to be a different story as the Yellowjackets bats came alive pounding out 22 hits and scoring 11 runs, while pitchers Hailee Stock and Pearson allowed only 1 earned run enroute to the win. Makenzie Swanson kept her hot bat alive going 4-5 with a double an RBI and 2 runs scored. Mattie Hellerud pitched in a 3-5 day with 2 RBI and Cassie Voth also had 3 hits on the day. Amber Chapel and Haliee Stock added doubles and Amanda Johnson was 2-4 with an RBI and 3 runs scored.
After the split against Ridgewater RCTC climbed on the bus and made the drive to St. Cloud to play game two of a double header that was rained out earlier in the year. RCTC kept it close early against the league leading Cyclones, but could not get over the top as they fell in 5 innings 9-1. RCTC trailed only 4-1 after 4, and threated to add more in the top of the fifth, before St. Cloud put up 5 in the bottom of the frame to end the game. Amber Chapel was 2-2, and Abi Folkert added a double in the loss.
So after all the dust settled on the weekend, nothing ended up being decided. RCTC and Ridgewater will play a single 7 inning game on Monday to detemine the final bid to the Region Tournament. The two teams split all four games of the conference season, and had the same record against the teams above them in the standings. A coin toss with the Conference office was used to determine the site of Monday's game with Ridgewater wininng the toss and with it the right to host the game. The game will take place on Ridgewater's campus at 5:30pm on Monday, May 13th. The winner will head to St. Cloud on Thursday for the Regional Tournament.