by Dave Pedersen
Sun PRESS Newspapers
Rockford got the negative part of the season out of the way early when losing the first two games at its own tournament. Since then the team played like champions, going 11-1 to claim the Central Minnesota Conference title and then win the first round in the Section 5AA tournament.
The Rockets finished the regular season with a double header sweep of Holdingford last week. In a 5-2 victory, Rockford’s four runs scored in the third inning were enough.
Seniors Ashley Dick, Katelynn Pedersen and Lexi Majeski each had two hits. Dick drove home the first two runs in the third inning on a single. Pedersen followed with a single and Majeski doubled to score two more runs.
Following singles by Dick and Pedersen, junior Megan Westrup singled to knock in the fifth run. Ninth-grader Bria Majeski pitched the win, allowing three hits, striking out six.
“That win clinched our first CMC championship since 2004,” said coach Dawn Engebretson about her team that scored 58 runs in 14 games and produced a .368 team batting average.
Rockford did not stop there, edging Holdingford 2-1 in the second game. Sophomore Brianna Calder, ninth-grader Hannah Carlson, Pedersen, Westrup and junior Megan Bode each had one hit. Bode drove in the game winner with a double. Lexi Majeski allowed five hits pitching.
After earning the No. 2 seed behind Delano in the East sub-section, Rockford opened the playoffs with a 10-0 shutout of Minneapolis Patrick Henry Friday.
Calder was 4 for 4 with two doubles. Dick was 2 for 4 with a home run and the Majeski sisters both batted 2 for 3. Bria Majeski struck out 13 of the 15 batters faced, allowing one hit in five innings.
Rockford moved on to face Watertown-Mayer in Delano May 21, after this issue went to press. The winner will face Delano, Mound-Westonka or Providence Academy, 4 p.m. Thursday, May 23 in the sub-section title game.
Both teams would advance to the final four at Watertown-Mayer, joining two teams from the West sub-section. The first game would be Tuesday, May 28 and the section title game is Thursday, May 30.
The rest of the league champion Rockford varsity includes seniors Amanda Thingvold and Madison Read, juniors Courtney Schmidt and Kaylee Schumacher, sophomore McKenzie Belanger and ninth-graders Caitlin and Allison McNeal. Assistant coaches are Amy Sarne and Teresa Campbell.
Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]