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Launch pad in Rock Falls: Junior Dodd homers, throws perfect game in rout

ROCK FALLS – Kris Nunez was sort of joking, yet sort of challenging Julie Dodd before she came to the plate during the second inning of the first game of a doubleheader against Rockford Lutheran on Wednesday. 

The Rock Falls softball coach asked if Dodd was going to do anything at the plate against a Lutheran team that the Rockets ended up beating 18-0 and 14-0 in two five-inning games. 

"I wanted to know if she was going to hit today or not," Nunez said. "She answered by telling me I'd feel bad if she went up there and hit a home run." 

Nunez actually felt pretty good when exactly that happened. 

Dodd slugged a 1-0 pitch to left field, the ball hung in the air, hit the top of the fence and bounced over for a 2-run home run. 

Dodd let out a shriek at first base as the ball cleared the fence, and then hopped around the bases. It was the first time she had hit a homer.

"I had hit one just like that a few games ago, but it hit the fence," Dodd said. "I thought it was going to do the same thing again." 

The shot put the Rockets (18-3, 7-1 BNC West) resoundingly ahead of a Lutheran team clearly not at the same talent or ability level. 

The Rockets jumped out in the first inning with the first of two Morgan Mammosser triples. Linsey Brown followed with a single off Lutheran starter Allie Roderick.

Three more hits yielded three more runs, and Rock Falls was up 4-0. 

The second inning cemented the win, as the Rockets slugged out 12 hits and scored 12 runs while sending 16 hitters to the plate. 

"I think games like this boost our confidence," Dodd said. "Everyone was hitting and everyone got to play."

Dodd was dominant in the circle, throwing a perfect game with nine strikeouts. 

Junior Destinee Schumaker followed her in Game 2, allowing one hit while striking out four. 

"Destinee is one of those girls that we will be depending on a lot next year," Nunez said. "She hasn't had much chance this season to pitch because we have two girls ahead of her, but she threw really well today. 

"It says a lot about our pitching depth when you can put your No. 3 and No. 4 pitchers out there and get those kind of performances."

Unlike the first game, in which Lutheran committed two errors, the Crusaders struggled in the field in the second game. They committed six errors that led to six unearned runs.  

Star of the day: Julie Dodd, Rock Falls, perfect game, also had four hits, HR, 2B, 5 RBIs. 

Up next: Rock Falls at Mendota, 4:30 p.m. today

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