Rams go 1-1 at Rogers’ annual Wooden Bat Tournament Brian Baldwin pitches against Rogers High School. Photo by KANDI JEZAK by JON STREET Catholic Central (CC) beat Rockford High School 6-2 in the first game of the Rogers Ninth Annual Wooden Bat Tournament at Lamar Park on Saturday, April 25. Sophomore Brendan Penny went the distance and earned the victory. Rockford’s Taylor Masiewicz took the mound and the loss for Rockford while pitching five and two-thirds innings. Zach Martinek pitched the final one and one-third innings in relief. Rockford helped CC early in the game by walking the bases loaded in the first inning. A two-run errant pick-off throw and a hit by Jordan Milanowski put CC up 3-0. CC returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, the Rams’ Shane Street reached first on an error by the third baseman. John Vietengruber stroked a single, and a walk to Ryan Darby loaded the bases. A ground ball by Bryan Baldwin to the third baseman produced a two-run error. At the end of five innings, the score was 3-2. CC was not done for the day however. In the top of the seventh inning, a pitch hit the leadoff batter. A bunt by Nathan Lowe, a walk to Michael Penny, followed by a balk put CC up 4-2. A sacrifice fly by Seth Holt put CC up 5-2. An error by the Rams allowed another run and produced the final score of 6-2. Although Rockford’s bats were silent in the first game of the tournament, they came to life against Wyoming Rogers in the consolation game. Rockford defeated Rogers 13-3 and pounded out 13 hits. Kyle Lieckfelt took the loss for Rogers, while Baldwin pitched three and one-third innings for the victory. Keebs Erhart pitched the final one and two-thirds innings in a non-save situation. Rogers had four hits on the day. Paul Thull drove Rogers’ first run in on a double in the first inning. Will Sheick drove a run in with a single in the second inning and Mason Fogler drove Rogers’ final run in the fourth inning with a single, too. All of the runs were unearned. Rockford countered in the bottom […]
by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The Rockford soccer team was on fire Friday night, April 24, taking 29 shots and a record nine corner kicks against visiting Jenison. Three of the shots went in and many more could have if not for the formidable goal-keeping skills of the Wildcats’ Kelly Hevelhurst, who made 15 saves. The Rams beat Jenison 3-0 for their sixth shutout of the season. Rockford controlled the action for most of the game, including the last few minutes when Hevelhurst was heard pleading with her teammates to help her out. “These girls are still hungry for goals,” junior keeper Hevelhurst told her teammates. “Don’t give up.” Junior Kate Huyser scored first for the Rams on her second corner kick of the night. Her first corner, just four-and-a-half minutes into the game, found its way to Kayla Knoll, whose header went just wide and was caught by Hevelhurst. Two-and-a-half minutes later, Huyser sent a perfect corner toward the same spot, but it arched at the right time and sailed into the far-side netting. The Rams, who are 5-2-2, utilized their depth throughout the game, and Jordan Diffenderfer was one of those who came off the bench and proved how strong Rockford really is. Twenty-two minutes into the game, she outran the Jenison defense on a through-ball from Britanni Pierce and let it go with her left, but Hevelhurst made a great save. Not to be denied, she took a big throw-in from Katie Purvis on the edge of the six-yard box, sent it over to Rebekah Hazel on the other side, took the return pass, and drove it home with 33 seconds left in the first half. Senior Rachel Doud closed out the scoring with 10 minutes left in the game with a shot right in front of the net. The goal was set up by a pass from Pierce in lots of traffic. Doud kicked the ball, which bounced off a Jenison defender, and then kicked it again, sending it on the ground past Hevelhurst. Also giving Hevelhurst a workout throughout the night were Pierce, Hazel, Matti Graves, Tessa Heeringa, Syd Benda, and Sam Decker. “She was a great goalie,” said Rockford Coach Amira Ponne. “Otherwise, we would have had at least three […]
The Rams girls lacrosse team traveled to West Ottawa on a dreary cold Monday and added their own heat by lighting up the scoreboard for a team record of 26 goals on April 20. Andi Raymond led the onslaught with a team-record seven goals while adding six assists. Meagan Emery has sniper-like accuracy with five goals on seven shots, and she helped get the scoring started with an assist on the night’s first goal. Michon Moline added four goals, Abbey Neerken three ,Taylor Hiner and Gabby Twiest two apiece, and Taylor Balch, Kelsei Streeter and Roxy Rosema each scored one. Rockford led 17-1 at the half and were never challenged, as their defense was suffocating. The Rams out-shot West Ottawa 51-4. Senior Gabby Twiest and sophomore Sydney Gray were once again strong in goal. Contributing to the record-setting defense were Jill Fowle, Shelby Smith, Alyssa Neumen, Lexi O’Connor and Emily Gray. Wednesday night, April 22, the Rams hosted Forest Hills in a conference match-up, which was the first meeting this year between the neighborhood rivals. The Rams started the scoring, but Forest Hills hung tough, scoring twice to narrow the gap 10 minutes in to the game. Coach Jeff Neerken then called a time out, “I needed to settle the girls down and get them playing their game. They were a little sloppy on the offensive end. After our time out, we caught fire.” Catch fire they did, with Raymond lighting the fuse. The Ram onslaught ended at the half as the Rams built a 12-2 lead. The Rams again held a huge advantage in shots on goal, out-shooting Forest Hills 39-10. Raymond matched Monday’s output with seven more goals and four assists. Moline added five goals, Rosema two goals, Neerken two, and Emery, Balch and Streeter one each. Emery also assisted on three of Raymond’s goals and Hiner added three assists. Emery, Neerken and Rosema played excellent games at both ends of the field, as Emery and Rosema each caused three Forest Hills turnovers, and Neerken continued her strong draw play, winning 12 center draws. Fowle, O’Connor, Neumen and Smith continued their fine play, only allowing 10 shots on goal for the entire game. Since returning from spring break, the Rams have outscored their […]
by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The contest on March 30 between the Rockford varsity girls soccer team and the visiting Fremont Packers was a mismatch from the start. First of all, the Rams boast 20 players on the roster; Fremont just pulled up a junior varsity player to round out theirs at 12. Second, the Rams pride themselves in a starting goalie with four years of varsity experience and a back-up goalie who led the team to a district championship last season. The Packers have a sophomore goalie who plays two other sports. Third, the Rams have more speed and skill than the visitors from the north. But the Packers deserve credit. They came to play and made a game of it, especially in the first half. After watching Rockford’s junior varsity team mercy the Packers 8-0 in the first half Monday night, the Packers’ fans could only imagine what would happen in the feature game. After all, Fremont originally had Hart on its schedule for the night, a game against more evenly matched opponents. When the Pirates had to cancel and Rockford was looking for an opponent, the Packers acquiesced, knowing they would be the underdog. Because the junior varsity game ended early, many of the Rockford fans missed much of the first half of the game. What they missed was lots of shots on goal by the Rams with only one-the first one-going in. Junior Kate Huyser lit up the scoreboard 81 seconds into the contest with a shot from the right that sailed past Fremont goalkeeper Kaitlyn Van Boven into the middle of the net. The Rams’ many other opportunities in that half went wide or high or were batted away or sailed into the waiting hands of Van Boven. In retrospect, the Packers had one shot on goal three minutes into the half. Rockford starting goalkeeper Kristin Darby made an easy save. “We definitely gave their keeper a workout,” said Rockford’s Coach Amira Ponne. “I thought she did well considering the circumstances and pressure she was under.” Although the Rams only led 1-0 at the half, Ponne was happy that the girls were taking shots. “The shots will fall,” she explained. “At this point, I just want them feeling confident about taking the […]
The Rockford boys varsity golf team competed with Grandville and Hudsonville on Wednesday, April 1, at L.E. Kaufman Golf Course in Wyoming, Mich. The Rockford boys defeated Hudsonville, who scored 173, and tied with Grandville at 167. Rockford’s Sam Gallup was a medalist with a score of 39. Three other top scorers were Eric Conroy with 41, Jake Chaffee 42, and Trent Davison 45. David Keller scored 46, and Steven Mette 47.