The Rocky Ford High School softball team is in good shape for the 2020 season as the Lady Meloneers will have all of their players returning from last year.


"All 14 players returning this year had varsity experience in 2019 and committed significant time in the offseason to improve their individual and group skills as well as focus on their relationships with other team members," said Rocky coach J.C. Carrica.


"With no seniors on the team last year, the Lady Meloneers had a great season. They went 15-10 overall and they also won the Tri-Peaks League championship with a record of 7-0.


"Last year we were a very young team with no seniors, four junior starters, three sophomores and two freshmen in the state tournament," Carrica said.


Rocky has players from four different schools on the team. Those schools are Rocky Ford, Swink, Crowley County and Fowler.


The returning Lady Meloneers will be pushed for playing time by a few new freshmen.


"Although we have a small number of freshmen coming in this year, they bring a lot of travel ball experience and are extremely competitive," Carrica said.


The Lady Meloneers are looking to successfully defend their league championship, but the Tri-Peaks League is always competitive. However, it will be a little weaker as St. Mary's has dropped its program.


"We will certainly miss having St. Mary's on the schedule as they were always a tough competitor," Carrica said. "But our league will remain strong and we have several Tri-Peaks League teams making the state tournament year after year."


Carrica said that the Lady Meloneers' goal is to return to the state tournament, but to also remain safe during the season.


"As a team we have decided to appreciate the opportunity to play and be together this fall," Carrica said. "Our goal is to stay safe, follow local, state and CHSAA protocols and appreciate every day that we are able to throw the ball around as we acknowledge that not many other sports have been given this opportunity."


2020 ROCKY FORD LADY MELONEERS SOFTBALL SCHEDULE


Date; Opponent; Time


Aug. 15; At Pueblo East; 13-1 W


Aug. 22; Alamosa+; 10 a.m.


Aug. 25; At Dolores Huerta*; 4 p.m.


Aug. 27; PUEBLO COUNTY; 4 p.m.


Sept. 1; At Lamar; 4:30 p.m.


Sept. 8; LIMON; 4 p.m.


Sept. 10; At James Irwin*; 4 p.m.


Sept. 15; LAMAR*; 4 p.m.


Sept. 17; LA JUNTA; 4 p.m.


Sept. 18; Yuma#; 4:30 p.m.


Sept. 22; At Limon; 4:30 p.m.


Sept. 24; FLORENCE*; 4 p.m.


Sept. 26; WILEY*; 10 a.m.


Sept. 29; At Alamosa*; 4 p.m.


Oct. 3; At La Junta*; 10 a.m.


All home games in CAPITAL LETTERS at Babcock Park


* Tri-Peaks League games


+ At Fowler


# At Limon


Tribune-Democrat reporter Ken Hamrick can be reached by email at khamrick@ljtdmail.com. Help support local journalism by subscribing to the La Junta Tribune-Democrat at lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/subscribenow.