Generals go 2-0 on Day 1 of Nationals, will face # 1 Rock Valley on Friday
Rochester, MN - Two games, two come from behind wins.
Facing early deficits in both games, the #2 seeded Herkimer Generals got a pair of wins on the first day of NJCAA Division III Softball Championships in Rochester, Minnesota. Herkimer started the day with a 10-6 win over #7 St Cloud Tech (MN) and then followed it up with a 9-5 win over # 3 Brookdale on Thursday evening. The wins extend Herkimer's current winning streak to 24 games and gives them a new school record with wins in a season with 47.
Game 1 against St. Cloud saw the Generals fall behind 5-2 going into the bottom of the fourth before scoring 5 runs to take a 7-5 lead. The big blow in the inning was Natascha Holt's (Melbourne, Australia) double with the bases loaded that brought in 3 runs. Brooke Snyder (Suntee, CA) added 2 hits and 3 RBI's of her own in the come from behind win. Ciel Iida (Tokyo, Japan) came on in relief and got out of bases loaded jam in the top of the 4th with the Generals down by 3. Hunter VanArnum (Schuylerville, NY) pitched the last 3 innings, only allowing 2 hits to close the deal for Herkimer.
Game 2 between Brookdale and Herkimer was a rematch of a game played on March 17 in Myrtle Beach, SC and won by the Jersey Blues by a score of 10-7. Brookdale jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first before another 5 run inning for the Generals, this time in the third, gave Herkimer the lead they would never relinquish. Holt, Vani Patel (Eastvale, CA), Brianna Hoskins (Washington Township, NJ) and Jennah Hogan (East Greenbush, NY) each had multiple hits in the game for Herkimer. Taylor Betz (Cheektowaga, NY) grinded through 6.1 innings in the circle to get the win before VanArnum got the last two outs to secure the win.
Next up for the Generals is a showdown with #1 Rock Valley, the winner of the last 5 National Titles, in the winners bracket game on Friday. This is the 6th consecutive year the Generals and Eagles have met on the second day of the championships in the game that involves the only 2 teams that went 2-0 on Day 1. The winner of tomorrow's game advances to the Championship Round on Saturday while the loser has to win 3 games on Saturday to win the title, including beating the winner of the Friday game twice. Game time for the Herkimer-Rock Valley tilt is 5:00 PM EDT (4:00 CDT).