The Randolph Rockets defeated Upsala 5-1 in their opening game before falling 3-2 to Moose Lake-Willow River in the Semifinals of the MSHSL Class A State Fastpitch Softball Tournament at Caswell Park in North Mankato.

Rockets pitcher, freshman Carter Raymond allowed 3 hits while striking out 9 Upsala Cardinals batters in the opening game.

Upsala's only run came on a solo home run off the bat of sophmore first baseman Brrenna Graves with two outs in the top of the second inning. The Cardinals #4 and #5 batters in the order struck out looking before Grave took a 3-1 count pitch to left center field.

Junior left fielder Anna Olsen nearly caught the ball at the fence but it glanced off her glove and over the fence for the round tripper.

The home run tied the game because the Rockets scored in the bottom of the first inning.  Lead-off batter Carly Kimmes was walked to open the game and stole second base.

Following a strikeout #3 hitter freshman Chloe Vought clubbed a singe to right center scoring Kimmes.  Vought stole second base, then advanced to third on a ground out by senior Lindsay Sundby.

Randolph finished the game with 7 hits and took advantage of most of sophmore Upsala pitcher Isabelle Leners 8 walks.  Four of the five runs scored got on base by a walk.

The Rockets plated two runs in the second inning with freshman Kylee Carey walking to start the inning.  Eighth grader Allie Gillette also walked.

Freshman third baseman McKenna Gergen executed a bunt single to load the bases.  Freshman Ella Banks tried to put down a bunt to score the runner from third base but Carey was thrown out at home.

There was a fly out for the scond out and Olson cracked a 2 run double giving Randolph the 3-1 lead.

Gergen opened the 4th inning with a walk.  Banks executed an excellent bunt to get Gergen into scoring position.  Kimmes was hit by a pitch.  Olson was walked to fill the bases again for the Rockets.

Vought hit a high fly scoring Gergen.

Olson opened the 6th inning with a single.  The ball got by the right fielder allowing her to motor into second base.  Following a pop out on the infield Sundby cracked a RBI single.

Raymond threw 101 pitches, 71 strikes with 9 strikeouts,1 walk, scattered 3 hits.

Our Cashwise Food and Pharmacy Deliveries of the Game went to Raymond, Olson with  a double, single and 2 RBI game along with Vought for her 2 RBI.

The Semi-Finals game was a thriller.  The #2 seed Moose Lake/Willow River was the visitors because the #3 seed Rockets won a coin toss.

With two outs in the top of the first inning freshman first baseman Sandra Ribich took a 3-2 pitch and deposited the ball over the center field fence.

Left handed pitcher junior Sarah Christy was dominate early striking out 5 of the first 10 batters she faced.

In the bottom of the 5th inning Head Coach Dennis Trom decided to go with some small ball and it worked.

Raymond opened the bottom of the 5th inning an infield single. Carey bunted the ball resulting in a error at first base.  Raymond never hesitated flying around second to go to third base putting the Rockets in business.

Gillette bunted the ball resulting in another error.  Raymond scored.  Following a strikeout #9 hitter Freshman Ella Banks was walked loading the bases again.  Kimmes hit a towering fly ball to right  to bring Carey home.

Olson hit a bloop single to center field that appeared to score Gillette's courtesy runner but the run was waved off because the runner at second was thrown out trying to get back to the second base bag after almost gaining third on the play.

The weird thing is it took the Rebels coach Kelly Goeb to mention to the umpire third run scored should not be counted before the umpires met and waved off the run.

Proper call on the play but the umpires didn't make it until the coach came out and said, "Wait a sec."

Randolph had a run erased when they appealed that a runner didn't tag properly on a fly ball. Again a meeting of the umpire crew resulted in the wave off.

But the score was tied at 2.

The Rockets were one pitch away from going to the bottom of the 7th tied.

The Rebels opened the inning with a 2-1 count single by sophmore Lily Kahara. She was sacrified over to second base.  Gillette made an outstanding catch of a pop up behind home plate for the second out.  Junior Hannah Roach hit a fly ball to right field that looked like was measured properly for the out but the ball popped out of the glove and Kahara scored the third run for Moose Lake/Willow River.

In the bottom of the 7th inning Carey was walked.  After a strike out looking on three pitches Carey was thrown out at second base when she hesitated ever so slightly after the Rebels catcher had trouble catching a ball.

A strike out looking ended the game and Moose Lake/Willow River had knocked off the defending Class A Champions Randolph.

The #2 seed Rebels (26-4) will play top seed Nicollet (23-2) for the State title 2:30 p.m. Friday.  Nicollet dispatched Menagha in 5 innings 10-0 in their opener before defeating Edgerton/Sw Mn Christian 4-1.

#5 seed Edgerton/Sw Mn Christian (18-7) plays Randolph (21-5) for third place at 11:00 a.m.  Edgerton/SW Mn Christian upended #4 seed Red Lake Falls 3-1 in 8 innings in their opening game of the tournament.

The game will be broadcast on KDHL 920 AM, 97.9 FM, FREE KDHL App worldwide.

My View from the First Game vs Upsala at State Softball Tournament. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
My View from the First Game vs Upsala at State Softball Tournament. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Here are results from the rest of the State Tournament.

Class 2A

  • Top seed Proctor Rails (24-1) plays Chatfield (27-2) for title

Class 3A

  • All Big Nine final again with top seed Winona (23-1) going up against Mankato West (22-4)

Class 4A

  • #4 seed Forest Lake upset top seed White Bear Lake 3-2 in Semifinals and will play #2 seed undefeated Brainerd for the Class 4A State Championship.  Brainerd bested Hopkins in the Semifinal 5-2  The Royals upset #3 seed Chanhassen in their opener 3-1.
  • Section 1 Class 4A representative Lakeville South fell to top seeded White Bear Lake in their opener 3-0 and lost 5-3 to #5 seed Centennial 5-3 to end the Cougars season with a 14-12 record.
  • Section 1 Class 1A Champion Wabasha-Kellogg lost 8-0 to Moose Lake/Willow River in their opener and defeated Upsala 5-1 so they will be playing on the last day for softball in Minnesota against Red Lake Falls for the Consolation Championship.

BY THE WAY:  Randolph baseball punched their ticket to state with a 6-4 win over New Life Academy of Woodbury at University of Northwestern Roseville before jumping down Highway 169 to Mankato to watch the girls play their second game.

Seeds for the tournament will be Saturday.  They go to St. Cloud. KDHL will have their games and Hayfield games at state.

We are hoping for a all Gopher Conference Championship game at Target Field Friday, June 17, 2022.

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