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4366 articles
Monday January 25, 2021
Costly Errors Hurt Rockets In 4-3 Semifinal Loss

BATTLE CREEK---Little things mean a lot in high school sports, and a few little things added up to big trouble for the Rapid River Rockets softball team as the girls played in the Division Four state semifinals Friday night in Battle Creek.

Rapid River scored three runs in the top of the first inning to get an early jump, but the girls never scored again and committed two big errors that helped the Dansville Aggies come from behind and post a 4-3 victory at Bailey Park.

It was Rapid River's third trip to the Final Four in four years, and all three trips have ended on Semifinal Friday. But unlike those 2009 and 2011 games, this one didn't have to end that way. And in the first inning, it was Dansville that was on the ropes.

Ashley Hough ripped the first pitch of the game to the fence for a double. She scored on a single by Heather Sanderson, who went to second base on the throw. Sanderson was balked to third base, and as Neena Brockway walked, Brockway kept going.

Sanderson broke for the plate as Brockway went to second. She collided with catcher Rebekah Guy, who was called for catcher's interference (blocking the plate without possession of the ball).


Heather Sanderson RBI single.
It was 2-0 Rockets. Then with two out, Savannah Stenlund ripped a single to score Brockway and things were looking good at 3-0.

But in the bottom of the first inning, Dansville got a gift. Hailey Mays singled and stole second. Guy hit a fly ball to center field, and the usually-reliable Hough dropped the ball. A run scored, and even though Sanderson struck out the next two batters, some of the Rocket momentum was sapped by the outfield error.

In the third inning, Amber Morton ripped a one-out double, then Mays singled. With two runners on, Guy hit a grounder and the Rockets threw late to the plate. Sanderson finished the inning with a walk and pop-up, but Dansville was within 3-2.

Meghan Kelley got stronger on the mound, at one point, retiring 12 batters in a row. And then in the fourth inning, Kelley helped her own cause with a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 3-3. Rapid River had its chance in the top of the sixth when Sanderson singled and went to second on an overthrow. Brockway bunted her to third.

Shannon Wolf had the chance to give Rapid the lead when she hit one down the right field line. It landed a few inches foul. She then struck out, and Stenlund flew out.


Addie Price Game-Winning Hit for Dansville.
In the bottom of the sixth, Stenlund got handcuffed by a ground ball at third for an error.

Sanderson got the next two outs, but Addie Price came through with a two-out single from the #8 hole, giving Dansville its first lead at 4-3. The Rockets were down to their final swing in the seventh inning when Averi Kanyuh hit a pop fly that neither the first baseman nor second baseman caught. Then Hough smacked her second base hit of the game, putting the tying run at second base.

Asheligh Monticello swung at the first pitch and hit a ground ball to third base. Force play. Game over? Yep, a game that started with so much promise for the Rapid River Rockets ended in tears and disappointment for the girls who worked so hard to get here.

In her final high school game, Sanderson pitched six innings, allowing six hits, four runs (two earned). She struck out nine batters and did not walk or hit a batter.

Rapid River finishes its season with a 33-6 record. Dansville improved to 30-5, and will face Summerfield High School in Saturday night's Division Four state title game.

Click HERE  to see all of the statistics from the semifinal game.

You can see more pictures and videos, and listen to audio clips, by clicking the thumbnails in the "ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS" box. Thanks to Dan Becker for taking the photos and videos in 93 degree heat on Friday.









Choose team:
Date Time Opponent Score Record
4/6
3:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
10 - 1 (W)
1-0
4/7
12:00 PM
at Marquette Redmen
8 - 2 (W)
2-0
4/7
4:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
2 - 1 (W)
3-0
4/12
4:00 PM
Manistique Emeralds
11 - 0 (W)
4-0
4/12
5:30 PM
Manistique Emeralds
27 - 0 (W)
5-0
4/24
5:30 PM
at Stephenson Eagles
16 - 3 (W)
6-0
4/24
7:00 PM
at Stephenson Eagles
17 - 1 (W)
7-0
4/25
4:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
8 - 1 (W)
8-0
4/25
6:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
11 - 1 (W)
9-0
4/28
10:00 AM
at Gaylord Blue Devils
17 - 0 (W)
10-0
4/28
1:00 PM
at Rochester Adams
3 - 2 (W)
11-0
4/28
4:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
3 - 9 (L)
11-1
4/30
4:00 PM
at Negaunee Miners
8 - 0 (W)
12-1
4/30
6:00 PM
at Negaunee Miners
6 - 3 (W)
13-1
5/3
4:00 PM
at Manistique Emeralds
18 - 5 (W)
14-1
5/3
6:00 PM
at Manistique Emeralds
14 - 2 (W)
15-1
5/7
4:00 PM
at Marquette Redmen
0 - 4 (L)
15-2
5/7
6:00 PM
at Marquette Redmen
8 - 3 (W)
16-2
5/12
10:00 AM
at Adrian
3 - 1 (W)
17-2
5/12
1:00 PM
at Beaverton
5 - 2 (W)
18-2
5/12
3:30 PM
at Ann Arbor Skyline
10 - 0 (W)
19-2
5/12
7:00 PM
Utica
1 - 4 (L)
19-3
5/14
4:00 PM
Munising Mustangs
15 - 0 (W)
20-3
5/14
6:00 PM
Munising Mustangs
12 - 0 (W)
21-3
5/16
4:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
2 - 8 (L)
21-4
5/16
6:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
2 - 6 (L)
21-5
5/18
4:00 PM
at Superior Central Cougars
1 - 0 (W)
22-5
5/18
6:00 PM
at Superior Central Cougars
1 - 0 (W)
23-5
5/21
3:00 PM
Negaunee Miners
1 - 0 (W)
24-5
5/21
5:00 PM
Negaunee Miners
9 - 3 (W)
25-5
5/24
4:00 PM
at Munising Mustangs
17 - 0 (W)
26-5
5/24
6:00 PM
at Munising Mustangs
16 - 2 (W)
27-5
5/29
1:00 PM
Munising Mustangs
19 - 0 (W)
28-5
6/1
1:00 PM
Newberry Indians
16 - 0 (W)
29-5
6/1
5:00 PM
Ironwood Red Devils
10 - 0 (W)
30-5
6/9
10:00 AM
Posen Vikings
2 - 1 (W)
31-5
6/9
1:00 PM
Rogers City Hurons
6 - 1 (W)
32-5
6/12
3:00 PM
Bellaire Eagles
10 - 0 (W)
33-5
6/15
6:00 PM
Dansville Aggies
3 - 4 (L)
33-6



Rockets Dominate Div. 4 Softball All-State Team
Tuesday June 19, 2012
Braves, Rockets Prepare For Semifinal Challenge
Thursday June 14, 2012
Battle Creek-Bound! Rockets Overpower Bellaire
Tuesday June 12, 2012
Delta County Softball Teams Ready For Quarters
Sunday June 10, 2012
Braves, Rockets Repeat; Quarters Next In Traverse
Saturday June 9, 2012
Softball Post-Season Opens With Lopsided Games
Tuesday May 29, 2012
Girls Softball Districts Begin Tuesday Afternoon
Saturday May 26, 2012
Rapid River Girls Sweep; Emeralds Get Split
Monday May 21, 2012
Braves Open Busy Stretch With Sweep Of Rockets
Wednesday May 16, 2012
Rockets Finish Second At Ann Arbor Tournament
Saturday May 12, 2012
Rockets Blast Emeralds In Softball Doubleheader
Thursday May 3, 2012
Rockets Softball Rolls Past Negaunee; Now 13-1
Monday April 30, 2012
Braves Top Rockets To Win Tourney; Eskymos 1-2
Saturday April 28, 2012
9-0: Rockets Sweep Cougars To Stay Undefeated
Thursday April 26, 2012
Delta County Softball Teams Succeed In Dome
Sunday April 8, 2012
Rapid River, Escanaba Post Softball Wins At Dome
Friday April 6, 2012