Tucson, Ariz. - The Rockford University softball team (1-3) returned to the diamond for two more games on Tuesday. Unfortunately the Regents were unable to come away with a win as they faced off against two perennial powers in the Husson University Eagles (1-3) and the Central College Dutch (4-3). Rockford dropped its opener 14-5 to Husson, before falling 13-0 to Central.
In game one, Rockford started off slow, falling behind 4-0 going into the top of the second. However, the Regents were able to cut the lead in half scoring two runs in the top of the inning. After an error allowed the Regents' leadoff hitter to reach base, Abigail Wellwood (Rockford, Ill.) would advance the runner to second with just one out. One batter later, Shannon LeGath (Sturtevant, Wis.) singled into right moving the runner to third before an error by the right fielder allowed her to score and give Rockford its first run of the game. Following a Rockford strikeout, freshman Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) laced a single into the outfield to move LeGath to third before she took advantage of another Eagle error to make it a 4-2 game heading into the bottom half of the frame.
Husson would not quiver though, as the Eagles came soaring back out in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs and extending their lead to 8-2 heading into the top of the third.
Rockford and Husson each scored in the third inning to keep it a 6-run Eagle lead. Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) began the rally with a single through the left side to give Rockford a runner on first with no outs. A few batters later with runners on the corners, McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) stole second and in the process, forced a bad throw by the Husson catcher allowing Russell to score from third. However, the Eagles would respond in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own courtesy of a ground-rule double to take a 9-3 advantage into the fourth. The Eagles would extend their lead as they scored 5 more runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull in front 14-3.
However, the Regents continued to fight and claw in their final at bat, scoring two more runs in the fifth. Brittany Bihun (Schaumburg, Ill.) would show her patience at the plate as she started out the inning with a walk to give Rockford one on with no outs. A few batters later, Allison Kaiser (South Elgin, Ill.) ripped a shot into right field, advancing Bihun and giving the Regents runners on first and second with two outs. McCathran Andrew followed suit with a single of her own to load the bases. Abigail Wellwood then came through with a clutch 2-run single back up the middle to make it a 14-5 game. However, Rockford was unable to get any closer as Husson held on for the win.
Offensively, seven of Rockford's nine batters each recorded a hit in the game with Abigail Wellwood bringing two runners home.
In game two, Rockford struggled to get anything going offensively as the Regents were held to just three hits and were shutout for the first time this season. Central used a trio of big innings to seal a 13-0 win, scoring two in the first, six in the second and five in the fourth.
The Regents best chance at scratching across a run came in the top of the fourth inning. Gretchen Schrubbe and Brittany Bihun both singled in the frame to give the Regents runners on first and second with just one out. Unfortunately, the Dutch retired the next two batters in order to end the scoring threat and secure the win.
The Rockford University softball team has a day off tomorrow, before returning to the field on Thursday, March 8. RU will face Staten Island at 11 AM, followed by taking on Wittenberg at 3:30 PM.