Rockets win battle for league lead
BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
The good luck started earlier in the day Monday for Rockford when winning a coin flip to get the No. 2 seed behind Delano in the Sub-section 5AA softball tournament that starts Friday in Delano.
Later in the day the Rockers swept a double header from Maple Lake to take over the top spot in the Central Minnesota Conference. If Rockford could win one of the two games against Holdingford, played Tuesday after this issue went to press, it would claim the first league crown “in a long time.”
Both Rockford and Delano will open tourney play at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 17 at Delano. It is officially at home game when Rockford faces Minneapolis Patrick Henry. The Rocket field is unavailable due to construction in the area. The winner faces either No. 3 seed Watertown-Mayer or No. 6 Fridley, 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 in Delano.
Delano will start off against Brooklyn Center Friday, the winner to face either No. 4 Mound-Westonka or No. 5 Providence Academy, also at 4 p.m. May 21 in Delano.
The subsection title game is 4 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at Delano. Both sub-section finalists advance to the Section final four in the double elimination tourney.
Rockford won five of its last six games to make a charge for the title. Last week the team split a double header with Eden Valley-Watkins, a team that advanced to state last season.
EVW won the first game 6-3, the difference being a 3-run home run. Both Ashley Dick and Katelynn Pedersen went 2 for 2.
Rockford won the second game 4-0 when ninth-grader Bria Majeski allowed just four hits. Brianna Calder, Dick and Majeski had two hits each.
Pierz was dominated by the Rockets last Thursday in a double header sweep, Rockford winning 12-4 and 16-0. In the first game, Calder and Pedersen both went 3 for 3, while Megan Westrup was 3 for 4 with a double and home run, driving in four runs. Senior Lexi Majeski pitched the win.
In the second game, Lexi Majeski batted 3 for 3 with a home run. Calder, Hanna Carlson and Dick each collected two hits. Bria Majeski allowed five hits in the shutout.
Rockford went into Monday’s doubleheader at Maple Lake tied for first in the league and won two close games.
Bria Majeski pitched her fourth straight shutout in a 2-0 triumph. Pedersen and Westrup drove in the only runs in the first inning. Calder, Lexi Majeski and Westrup each had two hits. Bria Majeski allowed four hits with six strikeouts.
The second game was quite different, Rockford winning 9-8 when knocking out 18 hits. Pedersen slammed out three hits, including her first career home run. Calder and Dick also had three hits each and two of Westrup’s three hits were doubles. Megan Body and Bria Majeski both had two hits. Lexi pitched the first five innings and Bria the final inning.
Delano is top seed
The Tigers split six games against league contenders last week to secure the top section seed. Hutchinson edged Delano 5-4 to start the week when Sam Noetzelman had two of the six hits.
Bats came alive in a key double header sweep of Waconia. In the 12-8 win, Katy Kalleberg sparked the 13-hit attack by going 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Noetzelman, Makenna Giese, Katie Emmer, Maggie Rizor and Vatnsdal had two hits each.
Delano slammed out 14 hits in the 6-2 win over Waconia when Vatnsdal and Giese split pitching duties. Giese also powered the offense by going 3 for 4 with a triple. Emmer was 2 for 4 with a home run. Vatnsdal was 2 for 3 with a double and Kalley Koch was 2 for 3.
Delano split a double header against Holy Family Catholic, winning 11-5 and losing 15-5. In the first game, Emmer drove in five runs with a home run and double. Savanah Bettin and Noetzelman both added two hits. Giese allowed five hits in seven innings of pitching. Emmer led the offense with three hits, while Rizor and Bettin each had two.
Delano finished the week with a 10-3 loss to Annandale, which is 8-2 in league play. Bettin and Emmer had two hits each.
“I think the girls were drained physically and mentally by the end of the week after having two double headers and two more single games,” said coach Teresa Spurzem. “We lost our shortstop (Ellie Rizor) to a fractured wrist, so we were adjusting to that.”
Emmer has come on strong to lead the offense, batting .500. Delano ends the regular season at home against Hutchinson, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16.