RCTC softball team advances to region championship game

May 9—ROCHESTER — The Rochester Community and Technical College softball team won a pair of games at the Region 13A Tournament on Thursday to move within one victory of earning a berth in the Division III NJCAA National Tournament.

The Yellowjackets, the host and the No. 1 seed in the four-team double-elimination tournament, advanced to Friday's championship game with the two wins.

RCTC opened with a 12-4 win over No. 4 seed Minnesota State Community College-Fergus Falls in five innings. The Yellowjackets then rallied to defeat No. 2 Minnesota North College-Rainy River 8-5 in the semifinals.

Aubrey Grover went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs for RCTC in the region opener. Zoey Clark went 3-for-4 with double and two RBIs and Skylar Beckel had two RBIs and scored two runs.

Tayler Draeger pitched all five innings for the win. She allowed one earned run on nine hits and struck out five.

The Yellowjackets then had an exciting comeback in the win over Rainy River. RCTC trailed 5-4 going into the top of the seventh before scoring four times to pull out the victory.

Grover tied the game with an RBI double and Abby Zahn followed with an RBI double to give RCTC a 6-5 lead. Jada James capped the inning with a two-run single.

James finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Zahn and Bria Nelsen both added two hits.

Clark earned the win as she allowed five runs, three earned, on seven hits in innings.

RCTC (18-18) will face the winner of Rainy River and No. 3 St. Cloud Technical and Community College in the championship game at 1 p.m. Friday at the Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Complex.

Rainy River and St. Cloud will play at 11 a.m. with the winner moving to the title game. RCTC needs to win one game for the title while Rainy River or St. Cloud would need to beat the Yellowjackets twice.