OXFORD, Ala. - After falling 5-1 earlier in the day to No. 1 seed Des Moines Area CC, the No. 9 seed KCKCC softball team needed a win to stay alive in the DII National Tournament. After scoring three runs in the fifth inning of the contest, the Blue Devils took the lead and avoided more than the last run Delaware Tech would score, which came in the sixth inning. Holding a 10-9 lead in the seventh frame, the Blue Devils escaped a huge jam as the squad turned a triple play to secure the victory.
KCKCC's record stands at 45-15 as they advance to Saturday's slate of games.
In the first game against Des Moines Area, the Blue Devils scored the first run of the game in the first inning, when Maya Sheldon hit a two-out single to score Bradi Basler. Des Moines Area would take a 3-1 lead in the third inning and the Blue Devils faced an uphill battle the rest of the way. KCKCC threatened with runners on base in the final inning but the Bears escaped with the 5-1 win.
In the Delaware Tech win, the Blue Devils surrendered two runs in the top of the first, but struck for four runs in the bottom half. Basler hit an RBI single before Gettle sent a double into left field - scoring Sheldon, McKenna Lester and Ogden. Delaware Tech added three runs in the second inning and clung to a 5-4 lead until the bottom of the third when Trinity Tauer tied the game up after two-out RBI single. Both teams traded scores as neither team would back down facing elimination. Facing an 8-7 deficit in the fifth inning the Blue Devils managed to take the lead, ignited by a two-run triple by Ogden. Basler then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to add the final run of the inning.
Delaware Tech chipped in one run in the sixth inning, but could not muster anything else. With two runners on base in the seventh inning, the Blue Devils managed to escape with the aforementioned triple play.
Tauer led the team with three hits in the contest, while Gettle had four RBI. Breanna Droge came in for relief in the seventh inning and picked up her 18th win of the year in the circle.
KCKCC advances to Saturday when they will face Northwest Mississippi in an elimination game at 10 a.m. in Oxford, Ala.