ROCKY FORD — The eighth-ranked Rocky Ford High School softball team scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and that proved to be the difference as the Lady Meloneers defeated Limon 7-4 Tuesday at Babcock Park.
"What I was most impressed about is that I have a couple of kids who were struggling defensively, but they didn't let it bother them offensively," said Rocky coach J.C. Carrica. "Last year where we struggled is if we had a bad defensive game, it would hurt us offensively. Now they're able to turn it on and off and perform one side if they can't the other. That's what we saw late in the game. The two who struggled defensively came out hot offensively."
The first inning was scoreless, but the Lady Meloneers took the early lead by scoring one run in the bottom of the second. Baylie Krueger singled and Niquole Knapp followed with a walk. Ciarra Huckaby's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, and Krueger came home on Lexi Fernandez's groundout.
The Lady Badgers tied the score in the top of the fourth. Olivia Houghton had an infield single and Tressa Marx followed with a single of her own. Houghton came home on Jenna Jaklich's ground ball.
The Lady Meloneers answered by scoring twice in their half of the fourth. Kelly Long led off by getting on base on an error and Krueger singled for the second straight at-bat. Knapp's single brought Long home, and an error on the play allowed Krueger to score.
Limon took its only lead with three runs in the fifth. Mikaela Taylor singled and she went to second on Kylie Freiman's sacrifice bunt. Marx then got on base on an error and Taylor scored on the play.
Jaklich drew a base on balls and Bree Bandy doubled home Marx and Jaklich to give the Lady Badgers a 4-3 lead.
Rocky tied the score in the bottom of the fifth. Chantae Rodriguez was safe on an error and she went to second on the bad throw. Krueger recorded her third straight single to drive in Rodriguez.
The Lady Meloneers' sixth started with Lexi Fernandez getting on base on a fielder's choice and Alisha Jaramillo singled. Ally Bartholomew drew a walk to load the bases, and Sadie Brewer singled home Fernandez. An error on the same play allowed Sydney McElroy to come home.
Long's single drove home Bartholomew to end the scoring.
Brewer was Rocky's pitcher and she recorded a complete-game win. She allowed four runs and six hits and she also had two strikeouts and one walk.
The Lady Meloneers had nine hits and they were led by Krueger, who went 3-4 with one RBI.
Rocky Ford (3-4) will head north this weekend to compete in the Brush Invitational. The Lady Meloneers' opponents will be Limon, Brush, Florence and Wray.
"We play Limon again on Saturday," Carrica said. "Brush is No. 4, so it will be another tough test for us."
Rocky Ford 7, Limon 4
Limon 001 030 1 — 4 6 5
Rocky Ford 010 213 x — 7 9 1
Jaklich (L) and Owens. Brewer (W) and Huckaby.