Softball: Lady Hubs lose opener against Belvidere North

Junior Macy Belmonte makes a throw from the shortstop position during the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity softball game against Belvidere North on Friday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Smardo strikes out eight as Rochelle falls 13-1 on Friday

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity softball team teed off the 2023 season on Friday evening, falling 13-1 against Belvidere North in nonconference action. Senior Morgan Smardo took the circle for the Lady Hubs (0-1, 0-0 Interstate 8), striking out eight batters in five innings. Rochelle will host Rockford Guilford for another nonconference game on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Belvidere North took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, where a solo home run from Marissa Long gave the Blue Thunder their first advantage of the game. Belvidere North broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning, scoring seven runs on three errors, two singles, one fielder’s choice and one wild pitch to take a commanding 8-0 lead over the Lady Hubs.

Rochelle avoided the shutout in the bottom of the fourth inning, where Smardo reached on an error and scored on junior Macy Belmonte’s RBI single to make the score 8-1. The Blue Thunder extended their lead in the top of the sixth inning, tallying five runs on one triple, four singles and two errors.

Senior Maleah Pointer singled for the Lady Hubs in the bottom of the fifth inning, recording the team’s second and final hit of the evening. Sophomore Lauren Dyer pitched the sixth inning for the Lady Hubs, striking out two batters.