On Tuesday, June 2, the Lady Rams varsity softball concluded their regular season with a doubleheader sweep of the Fighting Scots from Caledonia by scores of 6-0 and 11-1. It was Senior Night, and the Rams’ senior athletes celebrated their final games on the Rockford High School varsity field in fine style. Senior centerfielder Lauren Pasciak, who will play collegiate softball at Cornerstone University, wasted no time getting things started for Rockford as she smacked a triple over the head of the centerfielder and scored on a sacrifice fly by Peyton Wells to stake the Rams to an early lead. Pasciak’s run would have been enough for junior pitcher Tricia Graham, who blanked Caledonia, allowing just three hits while striking out 16. In doing so, Graham reached a milestone by notching the 1,000th strikeout of her brilliant career. No other Rockford pitcher has ever reached this total, and she still has more than a full season left to add to her record. Pasciak added some insurance later in the game with a two-run single. Junior Katie Chapin had a big game with two sharp singles, which led to two more runs in the 6-0 win. In game two, the Rams jumped all over the Scots, racking up 13 hits in a mercy-rule-shortened five-inning game. Junior shortstop Alli Hickox led the onslaught with three hits, three runs batted in, and two runs scored. Fellow junior infielder Kayla Tykosky drove in two more with two hits, including a triple. The seniors had another strong game in their home finale. Morgan Ruchty had another nice game with two hits, and Haley Pattok ripped a double down the left field line in the last home high school at-bat. Pattok will be playing her college ball at Davenport University. Senior catcher Karli Showers, bound for Grand Rapids Community College’s softball program in the fall, provided stellar defense once again, gunning down the only runner who attempted to steal a base against her. Pasciak patrolled center field with her normal authority. It was a great day for the Rams,who finished the regular season with a 29-8 record.
by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The slogan emblazoned on the back of the competitive cheer t-shirts couldn’t have been more appropriate. The message “Head to Head in the OK Red” clearly set the stage for an all-out battle in both the OK Red post-conference cheer finals and the Division I district championships held last week at Rockford High School. Although sold at only the conference competition on Wednesday, the t-shirts’ implication rang true for the district competition as well. Even though 14 teams competed Saturday for the chance to move on to the regional at Brighton, everyone knew that the top four spots, as well as the next two, would be secured by teams from the OK Red. With five of the top 10-ranked teams in Division I coming from the conference, no one can argue that the Red is the most competitive league in the state. In the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) most recent postings, East Kentwood was ranked second behind Rochester, and West Ottawa was ranked third, followed by Grandville (fourth), Jenison (eighth), and Rockford (10th). In addition, Grandville has won the state title four times since 1997 and placed in the runner-up spot five times. West Ottawa has been runner-up twice, and East Kentwood has been second once. In both the conference and district competitions, those three, along with the host Rams, Jenison and Hudsonville, fought for the top spots. For Rockford coach Kathy Jo Resseguie – whose Rams finished third at the post-conference meet and fourth at districts – placing in the top four was significant. “[On Wednesday], I was hoping to move up from fourth at the pre-conference ” she said. “Rockford has kind of settled into that fourth-place spot. It gave us a confidence booster going into the weekend to finish third. That was awesome! To finish fourth at districts is amazing. I don’t think the girls realize how good fourth in this area is. This area sets the bar for everybody. To finish second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth in this area is unbelievable.” The district competitions are new. In previous years, teams competed in regional competitions with only two teams advancing to the state meet. With four of the five regions contested on the east side of […]