ROCK FALLS – They say that if you try to hit a home run, you won’t. Sometimes, they’re wrong.
Rock Falls’ Morgan Mammosser admitted she was trying to hit a home run on her 18th birthday, and she did just that. The senior’s big fly helped the Rockets to a 13-0, five-inning romp over Byron in a Big Northern Conference West clash in extremely windy conditions Saturday.
“It was a nice present. I had a dream about it last night,” said Mammosser, a former state qualifier in track who is back on the softball field for the first time since seventh grade.
Was she trying to hit a home run?
“Yeah, basically, just for today,” said Mammosser, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and three runs scored out of the No. 9 spot. “I wanted to hit one really bad.”
“She’s just a great athlete,” Rock Falls coach Kris Nunez said of Mammosser. “I was impressed with her Day 1.”
Mammosser and company provided plenty of run support for Michaela Ward (4-1), who fired four shutout innings of two-hit ball before Jordan Giddings finished things off.
“I felt pretty good. I knew my defense would back me up,” said Ward, who also helped her own cause by going 3-for-3 with three RBIs. “I felt pretty good at the plate, too. I’ve been working a lot on my hitting.”
Coming off a tough 3-2, nine-inning loss to Stillman Valley on Thursday, and without Paige Reynolds, who typically bats third, the Rockets (6-1, 1-1) wasted little time taking control Saturday.
They erupted for eight first-inning runs on nine hits. All the runs came with two outs, and all of them were unearned as Rock Falls took advantage of three Byron errors.
The key blows in the inning were Mammosser’s two-run double, Ward’s two-run single, and Addesyn Nailor’s two-run single.
The Rockets tacked on three more runs in the second inning, with Kaylyn Booker providing a two-run single and Mammosser an RBI single.
Ward added an RBI single in the third, and Mammosser belted her home run, a solo shot, in the fourth.
Rock Falls piled up 17 hits, and every starter had at least one.
“We’ve been hitting the ball well, except against Stillman Valley, when we struck out 14 times,” Nunez said. “All we did the whole practice [Friday] was hit, hit, hit. I think it helped a lot. We were attacking the ball like we should.”
Byron (1-3, 0-1) managed just three baserunners.
Star of the game: Morgan Mammosser, Rock Falls, 3-3, 4 RBIs, 3 R, HR, 2B
Key performers: Michaela Ward, Rock Falls, 3-3, 3 RBIs, 4 shutout innings of 2-hit ball; Addesyn Nailor, Rock Falls, 2-3, 2 RBIs
Up next: Sherrard at Rock Falls, 4:30 p.m. Monday