Eagles take two from Rams in softball

Driesenga, Graham lock horns in classic pitcher’s duel in game two

The Rockford Rams traveled to Hudsonville on Tuesday, May 18 to take on the top-ranked team in the state. They came 60 feet away from a split in the doubleheader, but eventually lost 1-0 in the nightcap after falling by a 6-1 count in the opener.

In a match-up of two of the best pitchers in the state, Hudsonville’s Sara Driesenga dueled Rockford’s Tricia Graham as they blanked the offenses for the first seven innings, as both teams only managed to get one runner as far as second base in regulation.

The Rams posted the first scoring threat in the bottom of the eighth when junior shortstop Alli Hickox cracked a one-out double to the gap in left-center. She got to third base on a passed ball, but the Rams couldn’t drive her in and the game moved to the ninth inning. Hudsonville responded in kind, getting a one-out double by All-Stater Kenzie Ritzema, who advanced to third on a wild pitch with two outs and then scored on a clutch single up the middle by Brittany Frye to score the game’s only run.

In game one, the Eagles had a pair of three-run rallies as the top of their order did most of the damage. Graham struck out 10 batters in the game, and she tripled and scored the Rams’ only run on Kayla Tykosky’s grounder to first base in the fourth inning. Rockford got runners on first and third with one out in the sixth, but failed to score as the Eagles secured the 6-1 win.

The victories kept Hudsonville perfect in league play and all but sewed up the OK Red conference championship for the defending state champs. Rockford is now 7-5 in the conference, and is battling Grandville for third place.

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