ROCHELLE — There was more than enough offense to go around during the Rochelle varsity softball team’s nonconference game against Forreston on Monday.
The Lady Hubs and Cardinals combined for 38 runs and there were multiple homers crushed by both teams. Despite trailing 5-0 after the first inning, three monster innings by Forreston, including 14 runs in the top of the fifth inning, allowed the Cardinals to cruise over Rochelle by a score of 27-11 to drop the Lady Hubs to 2-9 overall.
“We were really excited with how we performed offensively,” head coach Lindsay Suess said. “I thought we put some good bats on the ball and made solid contact. Even our outs were on hard contact.”
Rochelle took advantage of three Forreston errors in the bottom of the first inning to score five runs and jump ahead 5-0. Senior Becca Bunger smashed a two-RBI double into the outfield to get the Lady Hubs on the board, and junior Abby Reish followed with an RBI double off the right-field fence. Senior Emilee Dueringer and sophomore pitcher Bella Lodico each reached on errors to plate two Rochelle runners.
Lodico struck out four Cardinals over the first two innings while stranding five baserunners to preserve the shutout. Forreston broke through with five runs in the top of the third inning to tie the game 5-5, but Rochelle bounced back on an RBI single by Luxton in the bottom frame to maintain a 6-5 advantage.
The floodgates soon opened for the Cardinals, as Forreston capitalized on three Rochelle errors and poured on eight runs in the top of the fourth inning to emerge leading 13-6. Needing some offense to keep her team in the game, Reish smacked a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. Reish finished the game going 3-for-3 with two doubles, one walk and one RBI.
“Abby’s been hitting the ball consistently well,” Suess said. “We’re really happy with her and we need her to stay solid and consistent.”
Leading 13-7, Forreston put the game far out of Rochelle’s reach with 14 runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Cardinals totaled six singles and five extra-base hits including three homers in the frame while taking advantage of four Lady Hub errors. Forreston led 27-7 entering the bottom frame, but Rochelle wasn’t done scoring either.
Sophomore Kendal Ansteth led off the bottom frame with a double before Bunger reached on an error and Reish walked with two outs. The bases were loaded for freshman Jordin Dickey, who stepped into the batter’s box with a lefty-on-lefty matchup and sent a towering shot over the center-field wall for a grand slam.
“Jordin’s really stepped up for us,” Suess said. “I don’t think she plays like a freshman at all. She plays like a true varsity player and it’s nice to not only see her hit a grand slam, but make some good fly-ball catches in the outfield.”