Softball: Smardo hurls no-hitter against Plano

Junior pitcher strikes out 13 batters as Rochelle shuts out Reapers 10-0

PLANO — Junior Morgan Smardo threw a no-hitter to lead the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity softball team over the Plano Reapers during Interstate 8 Conference action Monday.

Smardo had full command in the pitcher’s circle, striking out 13 batters while adding a home run at the plate as Rochelle shut down the Reapers 10-0 to sweep the conference home-and-home series. The Lady Hubs (4-10, 3-8 Interstate 8) will face Ottawa on the road Wednesday.

Smardo and sophomore Ella Alfano slapped back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the first inning, with Smardo scoring on Alfano’s RBI knock to give Rochelle the 1-0 advantage. The Lady Hubs surged ahead 3-0 in the top of the second inning, where senior Lauren Jackson reached on a hit-by-pitch and Smardo belted a two-run homer over the outfield fence.

Senior Jordin Dickey crushed a solo home run in the top of the third inning, putting Rochelle ahead 4-0 before the Lady Hubs went up 5-0 in the top of the fourth inning, where junior Layla Pelan singled and scored to keep the offense rolling. Rochelle sealed its victory with five runs in the top of the fifth inning, which included an RBI single from senior MeLisa Young.