Rockford softball begins OK Red play with 3 shutout wins

Rockford sophomore pitcher Tricia Graham delivers against Muskegon.

Rockford sophomore pitcher Tricia Graham delivers against Muskegon.

 

 

Senior Sadie Jensen rips a double versus Grand Haven.

Senior Sadie Jensen rips a double versus Grand Haven.

Rockford’s Lady Rams began the OK Red portion of their season in impressive fashion last week, starting with an 11-0 victory in Grand Haven on April 22. Tricia Graham completely shut down the Buc offense by allowing 0 hits, striking out 14 batters, and allowing just one walk on the day. Offensively, Graham and junior centerfielder Lauren Pasciak led the way with two hits and three runs batted in apiece.

 

 

Ram senior Carly Shutich is up against the Big Reds.

Ram senior Carly Shutich is up against the Big Reds.

On Friday, April 24, the Rams hosted the Muskegon Big Reds in a doubleheader. Both games ended with identical 15-0 scores in favor of the Rams. Game one featured strong hitting from junior second baseman Nicole Beemer, who went two-for-two and scored three runs, and senior shortstop Carly Shutich, who had two hits while scoring two and knocking in two more. On the mound, Graham won game one, allowing just one hit, and sophomore Peyton Wells won game two, allowing just one hit and one walk. In game two, senior outfielder Sadie Jensen homered and drove in three runs, while Graham had a pair of doubles and scored twice. Senior Taylor Sargent and junior Kristin Phillips also scored two runs in the win.

 

On Saturday, April 25, the Rams traveled to Frankenmuth to compete in the Swing Into Spring Tournament. The Rams won their first game of the day against Hartland 10-0 behind yet another gem by Graham, as she and her battery-mate Karli Showers combined for their fourth no-hitter of the young season, striking out 17. Offensively, senior third baseman Alex Fulbright scored three times and Pasciak belted a home run and drove in three runs.

In game two on Saturday, Rockford defeated Holly 12-4 behind a balanced offensive attack which featured home runs by Graham and Wells, who drove in three more runs to run her season RBI total to 20. Scoring two runs apiece were juniors Halley Pattok, who is batting 0.429 on the season, and speedy right fielder Morgan Ruchty, who already has 11 stolen bases in as many attempts.

In the final game of the day, the Rams were defeated for the first time this season, falling to host Frankenmuth in a rain-shortened five-inning game by a score of 7-0. The Eagles’ senior pitcher Heather Schultz shut down the potent Rockford bats and the home team took advantage of sloppy Ram defense, turning three errors into four unearned runs off Graham.

            The Rams (10-1 overall) continue OK Red play this week, traveling to rival Jenison on Tuesday, April 28, and then to Grandville on Thursday, April 30, for a twin bill against the Bulldogs. Playing alongside the varsity squad each of those days will be the Rockford junior varsity team, which as of last Thursday had outscored the opposition 70-21 on the season.

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