WILLMAR -- By avenging two earlier losses to Rochester Saturday, the Ridgewater Lady Warriors softball team remained in the hunt for the MCAC Southern Division title.
The Lady Warriors improved to 14-4 in the division after beating Rochester, the No. 4-ranked NJCAA Division III team in the nation, 5-1 and 8-0.
Ridgewater sophomore Kristin Kahle had a perfect game through six innings in the opener and the Lady Warriors invoked the eight-run rule in the second game to keep pace with Riverland.
After visiting Fergus Falls on Tuesday for a doubleheader that starts at 3 p.m., Ridgewater will host Riverland on Friday. Riverland has won its last 14 division games and leads the South with a 17-1 mark.
Kahle kept the Yellowjackets (14-6, 22-13) off balanced before the visitors got a double and three singles to push across a run in the seventh. Kahle struck out four without issuing a walk en route to picking up her team-leading 10th win of the season.
Ridgewater was also held to four hits, but a Brooke Henderson sacrifice fly and a wild pitch in the first and two errors in the sixth led to four runs.
Nicole Blizil scored on Henderson's sac fly and Emily Roelike on the wild pitch in the first and Kahle and Jodi Merritt capped the scoring by scoring on Rochester miscues in the sixth. Henderson also doubled in Brandi Bodin in the third.
The Lady Warriors' offense came to life in the second game by producing all eight of their runs in the first three innings. Bodin went 3-for-3 while Roelike and Merritt had two hits apiece.
Jazmin Petersen was the beneficiary of the run support to improve to 5-2 on the season. The freshman allowed just two hits and one walk in five innings of work.
Henderson's RBI single and Merritt's two-run double in the first was followed by Sara Beyer's RBI double and Bodin's two-run double in the second. Bodin later scored in the frame on an error.
Roelike then capped the scoring by knocking in Beyer with a triple.
Ridgewater 5, Rochester 1
Rochester 000 000 1 -- 1 4 4
Ridgewater 201 002 x -- 5 4 0
HITTING - Rochester: Caitlin Donahoe 1-for-3, 2b; Amelia Jajowka 1-for-3; Anna Ramboldt 1-for-3, rbi; Kelly Shaner 1-for-3 ... Ridgewater: Emily Roelike 2-for-4; Brook Henderson 1-for-2, 2b, 2 rbi; Molly Anderson 1-for-3, 2b
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Rochester: Deanna Moch (L) 6-4-5-3-1-5 ... Ridgewater: Kristin Kahle (W) 7-4-1-1-0-4
Ridgewater 8, Rochester 0
Roch. (14-6, 22-13) 000 00 -- 0 2 3
Ridge. (14-4, 22-8) 341 0x -- 8 11 0
HITTING - Rochester: Caitlin Donahoe 1-for-2, 2b; Kelly Shaner 1-for-2 ... Ridgewater: Emily Roelike 2-for-3, 3b, rbi; Nicole Blizil 1-for-3; Brandi Bodin 3-for-3, 2b, 2 rbi; Brooke Henderson 1-for-3, rbi; Jodi Merritt 2-for-3, 2b, 2 rbi; Tiffany Volk 1-for-2; Sara Beyer 1-for-2, 2b, rbi
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Rochester: Erin Hain (L) 4-11-8-7-0-1 ... Ridgewater: Jazmin Petersen (W) 5-2-0-0-1-0