First Rockford softball invitational could open season

Spring sports teams compete for gym space

by Dave Pedersen

Sun PRESS Newspapers

Weather permitting, the first annual Rocket Blast Invitational fastpitch softball tournament is set for Saturday, April 27 at the Corcoran City Park fields, 20300 CR 50.

The event involves two four-team tournaments with two games each. Because of the size of the tourney, games were moved from Rockford to Corcoran. The event includes junior varsity teams, bringing the total to 16. JV games will be played on fields 3 and 4.

Rockford opens against Zimmerman at 9 a.m. on field 1, while New Life Academy faces North Branch on field 2. The second round is at 11 a.m.

In the other bracket that starts at 1 p.m., Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted faces Minneapolis Washburn and PACT Charter goes against Henry-Sibley. The second round starts at 3 p.m.

“It has been difficult practicing inside for so long,” said Rockford coach Dawn Engebretson. “The girls are handling it quite well, but we all really need to get outside. We rented out time in the Plymouth Creek Dome once and that was great. We were scheduled to go again last Friday, but had to cancel because of school closing. We have hit fly balls out in the parking lot a couple of times, just to give the outfielders a chance to see a fly ball off the bat that doesn’t hit a rafter.”

Rockford is scheduled to open the season at home, 4 p.m. Thursday, April 25 against Eden Valley-Watkins in a double header. The Rockets head to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted for a double header at 4 p.m. Monday, April 29.

The baseball team will attempt to open the season Monday, April 29 at home against HLWW. Rockford is home against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Thursday, May 2 and plays at Dassel-Cokato Friday, May 3.

Baseball coach Randy Griffith said the team has practiced indoors for six weeks, sharing the community center with other spring sports teams. The JV and C teams were asked to practice one less day a week.

“This has gone beyond being mad, we are disappointed and sad for the students,” said Griffith about missing half the season. “We rented the Plymouth Sports Dome once but have not taken one ground ball on infield dirt. We have not practiced with regulation base distances or pitching mound. We cannot simulate the real deal. In order to have some fun, we play dodge ball once in a while.”

The conference will try to play more double headers that could either involved two six inning games or one seven and one five in order to help the pitchers.

The golf teams play four events next week. The home event for the boys is set for 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 26 at Shamrock. Other meets are 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 29 at the St. Cloud Apollo Invitational, Wednesday, May 1 at Mound-Westonka tournament and Thursday, May 2 at Pierz.

Girls golf opens April 25 at the Kimball Invitational. Other events are April 29 at Osakis, April 30 at the St. Peter Invitational and Friday, May 3 for the home league event at Shamrock.

Track is scheduled to travel to the Maple Lake Invitational April 25, before going to the HLWW Invitational Tuesday, April 30 and the Princeton Invite Thursday, May 2.

Check the Rockford school website for schedule changes.


Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]