The softball team at Rockford High School rebounded from a disappointing 3-2 opening week with a perfect 4-0 stretch in the second week that included getting off to a 2-0 start in the OK Red. The Rams topped Sparta in a non-conference doubleheader at home on Monday, April 16 by scores of 9-4 and 5-1. They followed that up with 6-1 and 13-9 victories over East Kentwood on Thursday, April 19 at East Kentwood in the first games of conference play. Rockford’s record now stands at 7-2 on the season. The second contest versus East Kentwood saw the Rams fall into a 6-0 hole in the second inning before rallying for the stirring victory.
“I was encouraged by the look on the kids’ faces when they came back into the dugout after the second inning,” said Rockford Coach Troy Brown. “There was no panic and we just went right to work and put up eight runs in the bottom of the third to take control. That was a very encouraging sign from such a young team.”
The second contest against East Kentwood was highlighted by two things: the solid relief pitching of Ashley Mengyen and the explosive Ram bats. Rachel Feinauer was three for three (including a double) and knocked in four runs. Mengyen greatly aided her own cause at the plate by going two for three and knocking in four runs as well, while Hannah Pattok added a big two-run homer to the Ram come-from-behind win. Mengyen got the win in the opener as well to raise her record to 5-1 on the season while sporting a sterling 1.65 earned-run average.
Megan Port, Jessi Ramos and Feinauer all had a pair of hits in the opener against East Kentwood. Lexie Brown clubbed her second homer of the season in the top of the fifth inning to add to the Ram offensive barrage. Mengyen fanned five while issuing no bases on balls.
Mengyen was also the winner in the opening contest against Sparta on Monday. She struck out seven Spartans and walked four over the course of her seven-inning stint in the circle. Karlee Tykosky was a perfect three for three at the plate to pace the Rockford offense. Ali Erbes added a two-run triple and Brown chipped in with a bases-loaded double.
Carmen Zeboor toed the rubber in the night cap against Sparta and delivered in a big way for Rockford. Zeboor struck out seven and walked only three to get the win for Rockford. Feinauer added to her weeklong offensive outburst with another three-for-three showing at the plate. Isabelle Mudgett was two for two and Pattok added a two-run triple to the potent Ram offensive onslaught.
“The kids and the coaches all knew that we beat ourselves in different ways at our own tournament,” said Brown. “If we can continue to play solid defensively and keep our walks to a minimum, we feel we will be in every game. Anytime you can score 13 runs in an OK Red game it is a testament to your offensive prowess. We think we have an excellent offense. Now we just need to put it all together and build on this week.”
The Rams traveled to Greenville for a doubleheader on Monday, April 23 and hosted Grand Haven for an OK Red twin bill on Tuesday, April 24 (too late for press). They will conclude the week’s festivities by journeying to Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, April 28 to face off with the Oilers, Beal City, and West Branch Ogemaw Heights in a round robin tournament.