OREGON — Freshman Jordin Dickey began her first high school softball season at Rochelle on the junior varsity team. The left-handed hitter quickly ascended to the varsity squad, however, and despite being admittedly nervous, Dickey has made an immediate impact on both offense and defense for the Lady Hubs.
Dickey went 2-for-4 with one triple and one RBI when Rochelle faced Oregon on the road Wednesday evening. The freshman center fielder helped the Lady Hubs compiled their strongest offensive performance of the season, with five players driving in at least one run as the purple and white defeated Oregon 15-3 to snap an eight-game losing streak. Rochelle improved to 3-15 with the win.
“I was nervous when I found out I was going to play on the varsity team,” Dickey said. “I feel that I can really catch the ball in center field and I feel that I can really rock it out at the plate and hit the ball far. It depends on the day sometimes. My approach is to hit the ball before the first and second strike, and then to try and get on base if I have two strikes.”
Rochelle led 3-0 after the first inning behind senior Macy Luxton’s two-run double that plated senior Becca Bunger (fielder’s choice) and freshman Hayleigh Jones (single). Dickey doubled and scored on an RBI single by senior Emilee Dueringer in the second inning, with Oregon earning one run back to make it 4-1 entering the third inning.
Junior Abby Reish put the Lady Hubs ahead 5-1 with an RBI single in the third inning. After the Hawks plated one run in the bottom half, Rochelle ignited for seven runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a commanding 12-2 lead. Bunger’s three-run double started the offense, while Reish followed with a two-run single. Dickey’s RBI triple capped off the rally.
“Most people are nervous when they get up to the plate but I try and stay confident,” Reish said. “I watch the first pitch and adjust, then I try putting my bat to the ball the second time… When we’re hitting the ball, I feel the bats become contagious. When somebody in front of you hits the ball, you feel that you can hit the ball and you get really excited.”
Senior Maddi O’Rorke grounded out for an RBI in the fifth inning before Luxton singled and Reish doubled for two more RBIs. Oregon scored once on a triple and a single in the bottom frame. Sophomore Bella Lodico earned the win on the mound, striking out seven batters in the victory.
“I think the win gave us a lot of confidence,” Reish said. “We know we can beat teams when we play well. Sometimes it’s hard when one person gets down and the whole team gets down. When we step up and talk with each other, we stay positive and we’re able to get rid of the negativity and just have fun.”