AUSTIN — Rochester John Marshall hoped to earn a bit of revenge on Tuesday in the Section One, Class AAAA playoffs.
Instead, the Rockets season came to a close with a 5-1 loss to Lakeville North in a Section 1AAAA softball final four elimination game at Todd Park.
North, the No. 4 seed in the section, earned its second victory of the playoffs against JM. The Panthers (12-11 overall) topped the Rockets 9-2 in the opening round on May 23. The Rockets (12-12) fared no better against North this time around, after having knocked off Lakeville South and rival Rochester Mayo in elimination games last week.
North used one big inning to get the job done this time, scoring all five of its runs in the bottom of the second.
JM had taken the lead in the top of the second when Gina Pula reached base on an error and scored on an RBI double by Kaitlyn Ward. North answered by batting around in its half of the inning and putting an end to JM's upset hopes.
The Rockets had a runner thrown out at home in the fourth inning, but otherwise were unable to get clutch hits at key moments.
"Once again we were unable to hit the ball consistently which was really the difference," JM coach Thang Nguyen said. "North is too good to expect one run to beat them."
Senior pitcher Mel Boisen suffered the loss for JM. She struck out three batters and walked just one. The loss brought to a close the careers of four Rockets seniors — Boisen, Emily Bowron, Tayler Titus and Peyton Heyer.
"It is always tough to see a season come to an end, but we had a great group of kids," Nguyen said. "They played the game the right way, played as a team, and competed."
North had its season come to a close in Tuesday's final game, as it lost to top-seeded New Prague 9-2 in a loser-out game.
New Prague, the defending section champion, will face Farmington for the section title on Thursday. Farmington needs to win just once, while New Prague must beat the Tigers twice to win the section.
North 5, JM 1
(Section 1AAAA loser-out)
Rochester John Marshall: Grace Freed 1-for-3; Gina Pula 1 R; Lexy Anderson 1-for-3; Kaitlyn Ward 1-for-1, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Pitchers: Mel Boisen 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.