Lexi Brown

Rockford varsity softball splits with Hudsonville

May 19, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rams, Eagles, Bulldogs all tied atop OK Red It took more than 72 hours to complete, but when the dust finally settled on the key softball doubleheader between the Rockford Rams and the two-time defending state champion Hudsonville Eagles, the teams split the thrilling twin bill. The host Rams won Tuesday’s first game 1-0 in walk-off fashion, and the Eagles came out on top in game two by a score of 4-3, in a game which was concluded on Friday after darkness had suspended the extra-inning affair Tuesday evening with the score tied 3-3 after eight exciting innings. The games featured a match-up of two of the state’s premier pitchers in returning All State players Tricia Graham from Rockford and Sara Driesenga of Hudsonville. Graham uses a tremendous variety of pitches, including a rise, a curve, and a great change-up to go with her fastball. The six-foot-two Driesenga features a powerful fastball and a drop, and she will occasionally throw a screwball and a change-up. Both hurlers are headed to Division I college programs in the fall. Graham, who has rewritten the pitching record books at Rockford, will pitch at Central Michigan University. Her 435 strikeouts and 29 victories in 2010 are both school records, and she owns many career records and is closing in on many others as well. Driesenga, who will play at the University of Michigan, is a leading candidate for the state’s Miss Softball Award this season after being named the National Junior Softball Player of the Year in 2010 by ESPN Rise and Gatorade’s Michigan Player of the Year each of the past two years. With such dominant pitchers on the mound, everybody expected that runs would be at a premium. In game one, that was certainly the case. The Eagles had a number of opportunities in the game, but Graham worked her magic and came up with the key outs when she needed them the most, often on strikeouts at critical times. She also got help from her defense. In the first inning, with two runners on and two out for the Eagles, third baseman Brooke Agers ripped a shot deep to left-center field. Rams left-fielder Carmen Zeboor raced to her left and snared the ball just before it […]