After a weird start to a non-conference game at Rochelle on Monday, the Forreston softball team absolutely pounded the ball all over the field in a 27-11 win.
Rochelle, which came into the game with a 2-game winning streak after starting off 0-7, took a 5-0 lead into the top of the third inning.
“We came out a little flat,” Forreston coach Kim Snider said. “We hadn’t been down that much recently and maybe needed that to get fired up and enough to hit balls.”
In the first two innings, Forreston left the bases loaded both times. In the third inning, the Cardinals scored their first run after a Taylor Greenfield triple and Alexus Houston double, but had the bases loaded again with two outs.
With Hub ace Bella Lodico looking to get out of a jam for the third straight time, Houston came home on a wild pitch. Then, it was Kara Erdmann lining a shot that brought in Mackenzie Schreiber to make it 5-3. Brycelyn Smith tied the game with 2 RBI on a single.
Rochelle briefly regained the lead 6-5 in the bottom of the third on a Lodico run after stealing two bases on a Forreston error. The Cardinals were hurt early in the contest with errors, including two balls in left field that were lost in the sun.
“We need work on a few of our miscues,” Snider said.
Forreston took control for good in the fourth. Greenfield led off with a single and came home on a Paityn Broshous double. Jackie Ludwig had an RBI single to give Forreston its first lead at 7-6. Erdmann upped the lead to 9-6 on two of her five RBIs.
Before Lodico was finally able to shut down the Cardinal bats, Kaylee Kloster and Houston added 2-run doubles for a 13-6 advantage.
Abby Reish gave the Hubs a spark in the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer after just missing one earlier in the game on a long ball that hit the top of the fence. Greenfield helped get Forreston out of the inning on a knockdown of a hard single and good catch in the sun and wind from her third-base position.
In the top of the fifth Forreston exploded on the Hubs, belting out 14 runs and driving Lodico off the mound.
Greenfield and Kaylee Kloster had home runs in that inning.
“Our offense sold itself today,” Snider said. “Everyone in the line-up hit that ball hard.”
Even with a grand slam by Jordan Dickey in the bottom of the fifth, Rochelle could only muster its 12th run and the game was called for the slaughter rule.
Forreston had 27 hits, led by Erdmann and Houston (3 RBI) with five each. Ludwig was 4-6 with three RBI, Schreiber 3-4, with two RBI, Kloster 3-5, with five RBI, Greenfield with three hits and Smith with a pair of hits and two RBI.
Smith started on the mound, giving the ball up to Erdmann after only 1/3 inning pitched.
“We wanted to give Bry some pitching time, but it didn’t work out like we wanted,” Snider said. “With Durand coming up the next day, we were sitting Sam Greenfield.”
The Rochelle game was part of a busy stretch for the Cardinals, in which they won four contests last week and had to face Durand and Amboy this week in NUIC play.
“After a 1-4 start, but playing Dakota and Eastland, I’m excited at where we are at right now,” Snider said. “The turning point was last week against Newman.”