By Jim Hagerty
ROCHESTER, Minn. – Although the Rock Valley College softball program was a bona fide dynasty going into this year’s national championship game, that point was made even clearer last Saturday when the Golden Eagles knocked off Herkimer (New York) 6-2 to capture their fifth-straight NJCAA title.
The fifth championship was far from quick work, however. Hermiker clipped RVC 2-1 in Friday’s semifinal round. They battled back and met the Generals in Saturday’s final to become the only NJCAA Division III school to win five consecutive national championships.
Annaka Bartz (3-4, RBI, 2 R) put Rock Valley on the board with a solo home run in the first inning, but the Golden Eagles ended up trailing 2-1 through four. They then exploded for five runs in the fifth inning. The effort helped pitcher Jordan Hall’s cause. She came in and shut Herkimer down with three hitless innings, to ice the contest and grab tournament MVP honors.
Breanna Crown hurled four innings for Rock Valley, giving up two runs on four hits.
Rock Valley punched its ticket to the national tournament May 5 with 10-7 comeback win over Joliet Junior College for a sixth-straight Region IV Championship.
The Rock Valley College athletic program has won several NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) national championships. In the last eight years, RVC women’s tennis, women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s basketball, and softball teams have brought home national titles.
In addition to the softball team’s titles, the women’s basketball team has won four championships in last seven years. In all. the Golden Eagles have raised 20 championship banners since 1996. Other titles include women’s volleyball (1996-97, 2012), men’s tennis (2000, 2002), golf (2001-02), and women’s tennis (2004, 2011).
Rock Valley is a member of the eight-school North Central Community College Conference along with the College of DuPage, Harper College, Joliet Junior College, Madison College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Triton College and Wilbur Wright College. R.