Burlington Central had the champs on the ropes. But the champs counterpunched and finally knocked the Rockets out.
Defending Big Northern East and state Class 3A champ Marengo rallied for 5 runs in the fourth inning to overcome an early deficit and down Central, 11-7, in Big Northern East softball action in Marengo Thursday.
Burlington led 5-4 before the Indians sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth. Few of Marengo's 6 hits in the big inning were hard-hit, but everything the Indians hit seemed to find a hole. Megan Semro's shot to right field drove in 2 runs and was probably the hardest hit ball of the inning.
"Against a team like Marengo, you can't even give up one inning like that," said Central coach Cray Allen. "They're going to continue to put pressure on you, no matter what inning it is, no matter what the score is."
But the Rockets (10-7, 1-1) never let Marengo (14-3, 2-0) get comfortable, continuing to take advantage of wildness by Marengo starter Lindsay Melson and some sloppy fielding by the Indians.
Brooke Gaylord had 2 hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Rockets. Haley Albamonte also drove in 2 runs. Courtni Neubauer had a run-scoring triple and scored twice.
"I thought we did a great job at the plate today with our approach," Allen said. "I thought Melson was a little bit off, but I also thought our hitters had something to do with that, laying off pitches and stuff like that.
"It's a contagious sport. When things go good, they go good. When things go bad, they go bad."
Marengo jumped ahead 3-0 in the first, but the Rockets came right back with 3 of their own in the second. Singles by Angie Morrow and Gaylord got it started. Morrow scored on an error. Albamonte's bloop single scored a run, and Neubauer, who had walked, scored on a wild pitch.
Marengo regained the lead with a run in the third, but the Rockets took their first lead of the game in the fourth. Neubauer's triple scored Lauren King, and Neubauer came in on Albamonte's sacrifice fly.
Semro, Abby Kissack, and Melson had 3 hits apiece for Marengo. Semro had a single, double, and triple, and drove in 4 runs.
Gaylord suffered the loss in the circle for the Rockets.