College softball: RCTC silences Minnesota West bats
ROCHESTER — Minnesota West ran into a juggernaut Tuesday when it faced off with Rochester Technical and Community College, the seventh-ranked team in the nation.
Still, the Lady Jays gave their hosts a battle.
In the first game, the Yellowjackets clung to a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth when they plated three runs. Four more in the sixth led to an 8-0 loss for West. The RCTC bats continued to roll in the nightcap when it finished off a sweep with an 18-4 victory.
“Our bats quieted down tonight but we faced two pretty good pitchers,” Lady Jays head coach Jeff Linder said. “Our offense has been what’s carried us so far but sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the opposing pitchers.”
A single run in the second inning was all RCTC could muster until late in the opener. Finally, its bats caught up and scored seven runs in the next two frames to end it in six.
Taylor Wasmund — a 2015 graduate of Sibley-Ocheyedan High School — went the complete five-and-two-thirds innings and allowed eight runs while striking out five. West finished with only two hits, a single off the bat of Tanner Gunnink and a three-bagger by Breanna Nelson.
Wasmund belted a three-run double in the third inning of Game 2, part of a four-run frame that had the Lady Jays within two at 6-4. Unfortunately for the visitors, the Yellowjackets came right back to hang a 6-spot in the home half. One more six-run outburst in the fourth put the game out of reach for West.
A bright spot in being swept was the fact the Lady Jays didn’t commit a single error all day. But, Linder said they still have to figure out a way to avoid the big inning.
“We have to continue to improve (defensively),” he said. “We can’t give up the big inning; and the worst part of it is, a lot of them have come with two outs. We’ll get the first two outs no problem, then we can’t seem to get that third one. We have to figure that out.”
Becca Linder went 2-for-2 with an RBI for with an RBI in Game 2. Rebecca Kazemba was 2-for-3 with a double and also pitched the final two innings after Wasmund got the start.
West (3-12 overall, 2-10 Southern Division) will try to get back on track at 3 p.m. Thursday when it travels to M State-Fergus Falls.
R H E
West 000 000 — 0 2 0
RCTC 010 034 — 8 12 0
R H E
West 004 00 — 4 7 0
RCTC 066 6x — 18 17 0