Blue Knights complete 2022–2023 season with 13–15 overall record
The Dakota County Technical College Blue Knights softball team traveled to Glendive, Montana, for the NJCAA DII Region 13 Softball Championship May 4–6, 2023. The tournament featured six teams, including the Dawson Community College Buccaneers, Bismarck State College Mystics, Williston State College Tetons, Miles Community College Pioneers, Lake Region State College Royals, and DCTC.
The Blue Knights played their first game against Lake Region State—and it was a battle. The Knights were down two runs in the bottom of the 7th when they tied it up to go into extra innings. In the top of the 8th, the Royals scored two runs, but DCTC fought back to get within one run. Freshman Rhiannon Horien (2B) then hit a three-run homer to give the Blue Knights a 9–7 walk-off, come-from-behind victory. Sophomore Emily Kuehl pitched all eight innings to gain the victory. Freshman Allie Sibbald (P/1B) went 3 for 4 with four RBIs.
The Knights lost a tough second game vs #2 seed Miles Community College, managing just five hits. DCTC came back the next day in the first elimination game vs Bismarck State. The Knights got off to a good start, leading 2–0 going into the 4th inning when the Mystics scored four unanswered runs. The game stayed at 2–4 until the bottom of the 7th. Unfazed, the Knights sealed their second walk-off win when Freshman Callie Adams (LF) singled to left to knock in the winning run. Kuehl got her second victory on the mound. Sophomore Molly Erickson (OF), Adams, Kuehl, Sibbald, and Horien all had at least two hits in the 5–4 victory.
Again facing elimination, the Knights played Williston State in the second game of the day. With the score 2–2 after two innings, the Tetons scored three runs in the top of the 3rd and then three more runs in the top of the 5th to take an 8–2 lead. The Knights scored two runs in the 5th and three in the sixth to get within one run.
Sibbald pitched marvelously in the 6th and 7th innings to hold the Tetons scoreless. In the bottom of the 7th, DCTC put two runners on base, bringing Freshman Preslie Annala (3B) to bat. Annala had homered earlier in the game and, with the game in the balance, she swatted a three-run homer, giving the DCTC softball team its third walk-off win in the tournament.
Annala ended up going 4 for 5 with six RBIs. Sibbald was the winning pitcher and added three hits. Freshman Hailey Schneller (OF) went 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Freshman Izzy Okeson (C), who caught every game in the tourney, registered two hits. Sophomore Monica Brown (SS) contributed two hits in the 11–8 victory.
DCTC then took on the Miles Community College for the second time on the final day of the tournament. Down 0–2 in the 3rd, Sibbald hit a towering home run that tied up game. The Knights struggled after that, losing again to the Pioneers.
The Dawson Pioneers defeated Miles 6–4 to win the tournament and advance to the Northwest Plains A District Championship.
“The team really played with great enthusiasm and togetherness throughout the tournament,” stated Head Coach Tom Cross. “Winning three walk-off games in a row is really something!”
DCTC finished the 2022–2023 season with a 13–15 overall record. The Blue Knights play home games at UMore Fields in Rosemount, Minnesota. Tom Cross has served has the team’s head coach since 2011.
View DCTC softball game photos by visiting the DCTC Flickr album:
Learn more about NJCAA DII softball at DCTC by contacting:
Assistant Director of Student Life
Dakota County Technical College