NICOLETT — It’s not the first time Nicollet’s Sam Cater has hit a home run this season, but her home run at Nicollet High School on Tuesday was her most significant.
Ketner’s two-run home run to center field in the first inning led the No. 8 Raiders to a 6-3 win over No. 9 Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove in the first round of the 2A softball sectional. tournament.
The win over the Falcons moves the Raiders into a second-round meeting with top-ranked Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s on Thursday in Sleepy Eye.
Ketner finished the day 2-for-2 with two RBI hits in the top of his homer in the fifth and a will power in the third.
The two-out home run, her sixth of the season, brought home Brooklyn Bod, who finished the day 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.
“I Never Expected” Ketner said. “I was kind of hoping to get a hit and our first couple of (bats) were kind of smart, so I was just hoping to get going a little bit, and after that I feel like we kind of Very pleased and pleased. Everything.”
Leah Boyd went 2 for 3 with two doubles and an RBI for the Raiders, while Tori Adams was 2 for 3.
Emma Drille went all seven innings, giving up 14 hits and two walks for two earned runs. She hit two.
Addison Jennings took the loss for the Falcons, allowing eight hits and three walks for five earned runs while striking out two.
Ella Erickson was 3 for 4 with an RBI to lead the Falcons, while Chloe Ramthon was 3 for 4, Natalie Wahl was 3 for 5 and Isabella Rentschler was 2 for 4 with an RBI.
While the Falcons racked up hits, the Raiders’ defense was sharp for most of the game and committed just two errors. In the second inning and with the Falcons threatening to score on a single to left by Wahl, Leah Bode singled to catcher Jasmine Wilking to get Erickson out at home for the third out.
The Falcons also left the bases loaded in the fourth inning. In the top of the fourth, however, the Raiders scored another run on an RBI single by Morgan Arndt that scored Adams.
RRC/WWG got it back in the fifth after an error allowed Rentschler to reach and later scored on an RBI single by Erickson. Ketner doubled in Brooklyn Bode in the bottom of the inning before Leah Bode scored Ketner from second for a 5-1 Nicollet lead.
The Falcons got two runs back in the sixth on RBI singles from Mercedes Myers and Rentschler, but the Raiders got an RBI single by Brooklyn Bode in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-3 lead. The single came with two runs, however, and the Falcons put the runner on second at home before sliding to third to end Brooklyn Bud’s slide out and the inning.
After Erickson reached the bottom of the seventh on an obstruction call at first base, she was advanced to second on a groundout and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a popout, a ground ball by Ramtun was lifted near home plate, causing Erickson to be caught on the run between third and home before the game ended.
Ketner, who was one of several players to change positions this season after leaving the field last year, was proud of the team’s defensive effort on Tuesday.
“I think today was one of our biggest games, honestly, defensively, and I’m really proud of Emma for pitching well.” Ketner said. “I kind of trust people now, I know where the ball is going and I know I can trust them to get it and not worry that I’m not going to get it. I trust Leah. Will get it or Brooklyn will get it or really someone else.
The win also guarantees the Raiders will return to Caswell Park in North Mankato to play Saturday, a year after winning the Class A state title there. If the Raiders can beat the undefeated Knights on Thursday, they will play in the winner’s bracket on Saturday. A loss drops them to the elimination bracket.