TUCSON, Ariz. - The Rockford University softball team returned to the field on Thursday for another pair of tough games. The Regents fell to the Cornell College Rams (3-2) 18-4 before dropping to the Hiram University Terriers (4-5) 17-6.
In game one Rockford did well as it got on the board first taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) stepped up to the plate and knocked a single into right field to give Rockford one on with no outs. On the next at bat, Allison Kaiser (South Elgin, Ill.) reached on an error by the pitcher that would advance Schrubbe to third. One batter later with runners on the corner, Taylor Pilarczyk (Chicago, Ill.) hit a sacrifice fly bringing Schrubbe home.
Unfortunately, the Rams would answer with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first to go back on top 3-1. Cornell carried that momentum for the next two innings as the Rams scored three runs in the second and twelve in the third giving them an 18-1 lead.
Rockford did not go down without a fight as it started to get its bats going in the fifth inning. This time it was Shannon LeGath (Sturtevant, Wis.) starting the Regents off as she doubled to left center to give Rockford one on with no outs. Katlyn Fiorucci (Machesney Park, Ill.) stepped to the plate next, lining a shot back up the middle to put runners on the corners with no outs. One batter later, Allison Kaiser singled down the left field line chalking up an RBI with LeGath scoring and Fiorucci advancing to third. Brittany Bihun (Schaumburg, Ill.) followed suit knocking one to center field and tallying and RBI as Fiorucci reached home. One batter later, Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) hit a line drive to left field moving Bihun to second and Kaiser to third. Patience would be key as McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) drew a walk bringing Kaiser into home. Rockford's rally was too late as RU fell 18-4.
In game two the Regents saw themselves down early as they faced a 2-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the first. Rockford would not buckle as it answered back immediately in the second half of the frame.
Stepping up to the plate with one out Allison Kaiser laced a shot into right field to give Rockford one on with one out. Brittany Bihun knocked one back through the middle to put runners on first and second with one out. Next up, Sammi Russel crushed her pitched as she earned a double, advancing Bihun to third and scoring Kaiser. Bihun then scored on the ensuing play with McCathran Andrew receiving the RBI.
Unfortunately, a big top of the second gave the Terriers the edge they needed as Hiram scored eight runs making the score 10-2 heading into the bottom of the second.
However, Rockford was resilient as it notched four runs of its own to shorten the Terrier lead to 10-6 heading into the top of the third. Shannon LeGath gave Rockford life as she drew a walk and then proceeded to advance on a wild pitch. Katlyn Fiorucci followed suit drawing a walk of her own giving Rockford two on with one out. One batter later the Regents received some help from Hiram as an error allowed Gretchen Schrubbe to reach first advancing the other two runners a base. Allison Kaiser came through for the Regents as she laced one up the left side scoring LeGath on the play, and loading the bases. A wild pitch allowed every runner to advance bringing Fiorucci home and giving Rockford runners on second and third with two outs. The Regents needed a big play and Brittany Bihun walked up to the plate and cranked a triple to left center, while bringing two runners in.
Unfortunately that is as far as the Regent rally would go as Hiram scored three runs in the third, two in the fourth, and two in the fifth to take down Rockford by a final score of 17-6.
Brittany Bihun had a great game for the Regents as she went 3-for-3 from the plate with 2 RBIs, and a triple in the game. Allison Kaiser and Sammi Russell both played well as Kaiser went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Russell went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a double.
The Rockford University softball team wraps up its time in Tucson on Saturday, March 10. The Regents are set to take on SUNY Oneonta at 10 AM before facing off against Macalester at 12 PM.