The Rockford Rams varsity baseball team has won their last five match-ups in a row. Making up for a cancelled game from April 27 due to rain, the Rams took on Grandville for two games on Wednesday, April 29, with Rockford winning 3-2 for both. The following Friday, May 1, Muskegon visited Rockford for another Ram victory, 6-2. On Saturday, May 2, Holland traveled to Rockford for a double-header, but lost to the Rams 11-3 and 11-1. The Rams’ next game is Friday, May 8 at East Kentwood at 4:30 p.m.
The most recent chapter in the well-documented rivalry between two of the area’s powerhouse softball programs-Rockford and Jenison-was an epic battle of will and grit. The battle was eventually won by the visiting Rams in 13 innings by the score of 2-0 behind the dominant pitching of Tricia Graham, great defensive plays, and the clutch hitting of Lauren Pasciak. The Rams had threatened a few times in the game, but were not able to come up with the big hit until the top of the 13th inning. The inning began quietly as Jenison’s pitcher, junior Kendra Thomas, retired the first two batters she faced. But then junior right-fielder Morgan Ruchty got things going with a perfectly executed slap hit past the pitcher. When she beat the throw from shortstop, the rally had begun. Ruchty then stole second base to get into scoring position for senior shortstop and co-captain Carly Shutich. Shutich worked the count and held off on a tough three-two pitch that was just off the plate for a hard-earned walk to set the stage for Pasciak, who had already doubled to deep centerfield earlier in the game. Pasciak, the left-handed hitting junior, went with the pitch and laced a bullet to deep left-center to bring home the eventual game-winning runs for the Rams as pandemonium broke out in “Ram nation.” Armed with the lead, Graham retired the first two batters in the bottom of the 13th before allowing a bloop single. But in the very next at-bat, when senior co-captain Alex Fulbright raced over into foul territory and snagged a pop fly near the third base dugout, the huge victory was secured for the Rams. Coach Casey Munger-Dunham was thrilled with the effort of her team, saying, “What a game! I’m so proud of our Lady Rams for their persistence. They have demonstrated their willingness to go the distance a couple of times now during this start of the season. It’s one of the qualities that make this year’s group so special. They are willing to continue fighting and to keep a positive attitude no matter the circumstance. Offensively, we had some nice hits. However, in the top of the 13th, we strung a couple together, which were key […]
by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The rivalry between the Rockford girls soccer team and Grand Haven goes back a long way, so every time the two teams meet, a battle ensues. Three years ago, the Rams beat the Buccaneers for the district title. Two years ago, the Bucs turned the tables in the same game. Last year, Rockford beat Grand Haven in the district semifinal, so Friday night’s OK Red conference match-up on the Bucs’ home turf was expected to be a battle. The fans got their money’s worth. The evenly matched teams provided a night of entertainment, but the hosts got the upper hand, beating visiting Rockford 2-1 in a conference thriller. “A lot of us who have been on the team a couple of years tried to instill in people’s minds that this was a big game,” said Rockford co-captain Rachel Doud, a four-year varsity member. “It is a really big game for both of us. It always feels good to walk away with a win. We played our hearts out. It was a tough loss, but it was nice to see us come together and play as a team.” Although each squad had their opportunities in the first half, a defensive battle left the teams scoreless. The Rams’ first major chance came nine minutes into the game. Doud, driving on the outside, passed the ball into sophomore center midfielder Sydney Benda, who passed it on to Graves. Graves maneuvered past the Bucs’ formidable defense, but her shot on goal was kicked away by Grand Haven goalkeeper Katie Malnight. The Bucs peppered Rockford keeper Kristin Darby with three shots in a two-minute stretch late in the first half, but the four-year starter answered the call, leaving the scoreboard empty after 40 minutes of play. The Rams came out on fire in the second half, but the Bucs got the first goal when sophomore Alina Weykamp wound her way past the Rockford defense and sent the ball flying over Darby’s reach seven-and-a-half minutes into the half. Jenna Lysne put the visitors on the scoreboard three minutes later when she took a sweet pass from Britanni Pierce 20 yards out and sent it in low toward the left side of the net. The tie didn’t […]
The Lady Rams had an up-and-down week, alternating wins and losses through four games. In a conference battle against Grand Rapids Catholic Central, the Lady Rams lost a hard-fought game 4-3 on Wednesday, April 29. The Rams rallied back from the injury to defensive standout senior Shelby Smith, who injured her knee early in the first half. They never completely regained their composure after the injury to one of their emotional leaders. The Rams out-shot the Cougars 31-11, but ran into a hot goalie, Lindsay McCarty, who made a record 28 saves in the game, spoiling Senior Night for the Rams. Andi Raymond had all three goals for Rockford, and Meagan Emery added an assist. Raymond had a penalty shot with one click left on the clock that would have sent the game to overtime, but it went just wide as time expired. The rematch will be May 13 at Catholic Central, and it looks to shape up as the conference championship. Saturday, May 2, the Rams traveled to Okemos for a play day with three games. The Rams began the day with a victory over Brighton 12-4. Rockford will face them again in the regional opener May 20. Gabby Twiest was strong in goal for the Rams, as she maintains a goals-allowed average of less than five. Lexi O’Connor and Alyssa Neumen were all over the field on defense, taking away numerous opportunities from Brighton. Emery led all scorers with five goals on six shots. Raymond added four, Michon Moline added two, and Kelsei Streeter chipped in with a goal. Raymond and Abbey Neerken continued their strong draw play by winning 11 center draws. Senior Roxy Rosema had two caused turnovers for the Rams. In the rematch with Okemos, the Rams hung tough and out-shot the Chiefs in the first half, but could not find the net. The number-one-ranked Okemos team pulled away 10-3 at the final horn. The Rams played well, but could not solve the transition game of Okemos. In the final game of the day, Rockford beat Battle Creek United 11-4 as the coaches got everyone into the action. Sophomore goalie Sydney Gray was strong, with eight saves in net. Kelly McCabe, Emily Gray, Neumen and O’Connor led the Ram defense. […]
Rockford High School is pleased to announce that varsity baseball’s senior captain Mike Parsell has officially signed a letter of intent with Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). Parsell was recruited to play third base for the Raiders. GRCC is regarded as one of the top Division II baseball junior colleges in the country. The Raiders have won an amazing five national titles, including three in a row from 2003 to 2005. This year, Parsell leads the Rams offensively. As of April 26, 2009, he is leading the team in hits, doubles, batting average, slugging percentage and total bases. Parsell carries a 3.77 cumulative grade-point average, and is the son of Tim and Karen Parsell.