ROCHELLE — Lady Hub senior Jessie Meyers has played softball at Rochelle Township High School for four years, but it wasn’t until Tuesday’s Senior Night game against the Dixon Duchesses that Meyers helped her team achieve something that hadn’t been done throughout her high school career.
Behind eight runs in the bottom of the third inning, the Lady Hubs dominated Dixon and celebrated its seniors with an 11-1 win over the Duchesses. The victory improved Rochelle’s record to 4-18 overall and snapped the team’s seven-game losing streak. The Lady Hubs will face Dixon again in the IHSA Class 3A Regional Quarterfinals at Rochelle on Monday, May 21 at 4:30 p.m.
“We all had to play together to make this happen,” Meyers said. “We were definitely motivated to come out and win because this is our last year and we want to make sure we do our best. We did really great today and I think we’re going to do even better when we face them next week.”
Meyers put Rochelle ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning after senior Britney Salinas reached on a hit-by-pitch and senior Teddi Hacaga singled. Meyers launched a deep fly ball to center that was dropped by Dixon, allowing both Salinas and Hacaga to score. Junior Emilee Dueringer reached base and scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the second inning to give the Lady Hubs a 3-0 advantage.
Rochelle’s offense outburst began when senior Alex Ferrari walked with the bases loaded to score junior Macy Luxton and give the Lady Hubs a 4-0 lead in the third inning. Dueringer then walked to score junior Mandi Lamb, who served as a courtesy runner for the catcher Meyers, and senior Sarena Abdallah crossed home plate on a wild pitch after singling to center to lift Rochelle up 6-0.
“It was definitely energizing and a great experience to win today,” Abdallah said. “We had a great opportunity to get this win and this was Rochelle softball. We really proved ourselves today. We struggled with stringing together hits toward the beginning of the season but we really pulled it out today and I think the energy in the dugout was really upbeat. Keeping the positive vibes going really helped us.”
Freshman Bella Lodico’s RBI single plated Ferrari to give Rochelle a 7-0 lead in the third inning, and Hacaga’s two-RBI double to center drove in both Dueringer and Lodico. Salinas scored soon after on an error by the Duchesses to make it 10-0 before senior Faith Roush hit an RBI groundout to score Hacaga.
“We were stringing hits together and we were all able to come together,” Roush said. “It felt really good especially since we knew we would be playing them in our first regional game. We were hoping that today’s game would better prepare us for the regional and it felt really good to win on Senior Night. We were definitely motivated to win and that was our biggest goal.”
Dixon tallied its lone run in the top of the fourth inning, but the Duchesses were unable to do any other damage off the freshman pitcher Lodico, who tossed all five innings in the victory.