ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Regents softball team returned home on Monday after playing its previous six games on the road. Rockford hoped to build off its game two win over Marian on Sunday when it welcomed the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders to the Smith Athletic Field. The Regents have had a good amount of success in the past against the Raiders winning 23 of the 27 meetings between the two schools. However the two teams ended up splitting their doubleheader on Monday with MSOE winning game one 8-6 and Rockford taking game two by a final of 5-1.
The opening game of the doubleheader was a bit of a back and forth affair with each team using a big inning to take the lead. The Raiders broke the scoreless tie in the top of the first inning with a single run coming off of a hit and an error to grab a 1-0 lead. Rockford got its big inning in the bottom of the second when the Regents scored three runs. Heidi Dockstader (Yorkville, Ill./Yorkville) came up with the big hit when she smashed a two-run double over the left fielder's head to put Rockford up 2-1. Catcher Jessica Segalla (Loves Park, Ill./Harlem) followed with a two-out RBI single extending the lead to 3-1. Rockford tacked on another run in the fourth when Jessica Bjerning (Wauconda, Ill./Mundelein) hit an RBI single up the middle for a 4-1 lead. However just when it seemed as though the Regents had the game in hand, MSOE exploded for 6 runs in the sixth inning to grab an 8-4. The ladies were able to cut into the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Segalla drove in two more runs off a double into right center field. Following a scoreless top of the seventh, Rockford had one final chance to close the gap. With runners on second and third with two outs all the Regents needed was a base hit to tie the game. However, the Raiders were able to induce a ground ball to end the game and seal the 8-6 victory.
The Rockford offense was able to pound out 12 hits in game one but only managed to score 6 runs in part because the team stranded 10 base runners. The Regents offense was led by Jossilyn Jones (Rockford, Ill./Guilford), Heidi Dockstader and Jessica Segalla. Jones finished 3-5 at the plate and scored 3 runs. Dockstader was an impressive 3-4 with a run scored and 2 runs batted in while Segalla went 2-3 with 3 runs driven in.
Following the disappointing loss in game one, Rockford combined excellent starting pitching with timely hitting to win game two. Regents freshman starting pitcher Brittany Bura (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) tossed her second consecutive quality start. Bura threw a complete game and surrendered just one run off of 5 hits and struck out 5 batters. The freshman wriggled out of an early jam and then found her rhythm including retiring the final 7 batters of the game to lock up the 5-1 Rockford win.
Offensively Rockford scored in four consecutive innings and never trailed the entire game. The Regents struck first in the bottom of third inning when Maranda Walker (Rockford, Ill./Boylan) led off the inning with a single and later scored off an RBI single by Jessica Segalla. In the fourth it was senior Alexis Ford (Cortland, Ill./DeKalb) who manufactured a run for Rockford. Ford began the inning with a double. She then advanced to second on an excellent piece of baserunning and eventually scored on a wild pitch giving her team a 2-0 advantage. One inning later Ford was once again the focal point when she hit a clutch two-out two-run single into right field. Rockford scored its final run of the game in the sixth inning when Jessica Segalla scurried home on a wild pitch to complete the 5-1 win.
The softball team hits the road on Wednesday, April 24th for a pair of games at Alverno College. The doubleheader is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.