By RANDY GREGORY
Entering the 2013 campaign it was thought that the bats would be key to the success of the Rockford softball team. That has held true and then some as the Rams have ripped the ball day after day en route to a 13-4 start. In the eight games Rockford played last week the Rams outscored their opponents 73-18 while posting a 7-1 record.
“We have just continued to consistently put solid contact on the ball game in and game out,” said Rockford coach Troy Brown. “We have four players hitting over .400 and eight players hitting .333 and above. Our team batting average is .373 and we like to think that top to bottom we don’t have an easy out in the lineup. But we have also gotten some great pitching from Ashley Mengyan and Chelsea Chesebro. We still feel that we have plenty of Ram to improve in a variety of areas though.”
Rockford also finds themselves in a three-way tie atop the OK Red (tied with Hudsonville and Grandville at 5-1) following last week’s action. Rockford pounded Grand Haven 10-0 and 11-0 in action from Tuesday, April 30th and toppled their weekly opponent West Ottawa 9-3 on Thursday, May 2nd. The Rams also toppled Jenison in non-league action by an 11-5 count on Wednesday before journeying to Northview for the Northview Invitational on Saturday, May 4th.
The Rams narrowly dropped their opener there 4-3 to Belding before cruising the rest of the day to the Silver Division title. Following the loss, Rockford crushed Lowell 9-0, again beat West Ottawa 7-5 and pummeled Caledonia 13-1 to finish out the day.
Next week is huge for the Rams despite the relative dearth in the number of games. Rockford will face Grandville in a first-place showdown on Tuesday, May 7th (too late for press) and finish off the week with a single game against East Kentwood.
“The next two weeks are critical for us if we want to win the OK Red,” said Brown. “That was our goal at the start of the year and we have put ourselves in position to do just that. We need to play within ourselves this week and next week against Hudsonville. By the time things are finished there will either be a team that separates themselves from the pack or things will be all jumbled up with not too many games to play.”
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