Rockford softball sweeps West Ottawa

Rams finish third in OK Red, ranked number nine in state in Division I

The Rockford Rams varsity softball team closed out its OK Red conference schedule in style on Monday, May 24 at Rockford by sweeping the visiting Panthers of West Ottawa by scores of 6-0 and 5-1 to finish third in the conference with a 9-5 record.

Rockford broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning of game one when pitcher Tricia Graham singled leading off. Her courtesy runner, Mary Zeboor, scampered around and scored on a double by junior shortstop Alli Hickox. Before the inning ended, the Rams had a 3-0 lead as Isabelle Mudgett and Morgan Ruchty also contributed key hits for the Rams. They added two in the next frame as Graham and Kayla Tykosky each singled home a run to bump the lead to 5-0, and tacked on one more as Ruchty walked and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Lauren Pasciak.

All the while, Graham cruised through the first six innings without allowing a base runner. Her attempt for a perfect game came to an end with one out in the seventh, when a swinging third strike on a changeup in the dirt eluded the catcher, and the batter reached first base. Graham did manage to complete her third no-hitter of the year, striking out 17 in the process.

In game two, the Rams wasted no time in jumping on top of the Panthers. In the first inning, hits by Karli Showers, Peyton Wells and Hickox, along with a sacrifice fly by Graham, brought home three runs for the Rams. The Rams added a single run in the second on singles by Pasciak and Wells, and a double steal by Mudgett and Tykosky snuck home the final run in the third.

Graham made the lead stand by allowing just one run in the sixth inning. She struck out 12 in another fine effort to close out the OK Red season.

Final OK Red 2010 standings are as follows: Hudsonville 14-0, Jenison 12-2, Rockford 9-5, Grandville 8-6, East Kentwood 6-8, West Ottawa 5-9, Grand Haven 2-12, and Muskegon 0-14.

In the final coaches’ poll, the OK Red shows its strength in the state of Michigan by placing three teams in the top 10 in Division I. Hudsonville is currently ranked number one, Jenison is ranked number five, and Rockford is number nine. All of that goes out the window this week, because these games matter the most. Come support your Lady Rams as they take on Northview at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, June 5, in district play held at Northview.

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