ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University softball team (2-14, 0-2 NACC) took to the diamond on Friday afternoon to begin conference play, as they took on the Lakeland University Muskies (7-9, 2-0 NACC). Rockford could not defend against the Muskie offense causing them to drop game one 13-6 before falling in game two 19-3.
In game one, Rockford got out to an early lead as they scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Regents lead-off hitter, Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) began the hitting for Rockford as she crushed a double into right center. One batter later, Brittany Bihun (Schaumburg, Ill.) singled into deep right center as she was able to bring Schrubbe home. Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) followed by hitting a double of her own to left center, moving Bihun to third base. After starting off hot the Muskies were forced to change pitchers early into the game. Next up, McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) knocked a single into left field that brought Bihun in from third.
Unfortunately for Rockford the Muskies started to catch a rhythm in the third as they scored four runs, before scoring two more runs in the fourth to increase their lead to 6-2. The Regents needed an answer to stay within striking distance as they entered the bottom of the fifth inning.
Rockford was able to keep the game close as they scored a run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Lakeland lead to 6-3. It was the freshman Schrubbe who got the Regents started as she laced a ball to right center and sped around the bases for a triple. Next up, Allison Kaiser (South Elgin, Ill.) singled to center field, allowing Schrubbe to touch home plate.
Lakeland held strong as they scored three runs in the top of the sixth to pull back ahead 9-3 on the Regents heading into the bottom of the frame.
The Regents were resilient as they answered with three runs of their own to bring it to a three-run game again at 9-6. Thanks in part to an error on the defensive side, Abigail Wellwood (Rockford, Ill.) was able to give Rockford a runner on and one out. Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) showed her patience at the plate by drawing a walk for the Regents. One batter later, Gretchen Schrubbe continued her impressive game as she singled to right field, which was good enough to advance each runner two bases, bringing Wellwood home. With runners on the corners and two outs, Allison Kaiser bashed a double into to right center that allowed both Keller and Schrubbe to score.
However, the Muskies would not let up as they went on to score four more runs in the top of the seventh to go on to win game one by a score of 13-6.
In game one Rockford was led by the freshman duo of Gretchen Schrubbe and Allison Kaiser. Gretchen Schrubbe continues her strong play as a freshman as she went a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate while recording a single, double, triple and an RBI. This is the second time already this year that Schrubbe has been a homerun short of a cycle. Kaiser did well as she went 2-of-4 with a double and 3 RBIs.
In game two it was the Muskies this time who got out to an early lead as they scored three runs in the first, ten in the second and one in the third and fourth to take a commanding 15-0 lead over the Regents heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Rockford did well to not surrender and keep the Muskies from shutting them out. The Regents were able to cut into the Lakeland lead as they scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Brittany Bihun got on base for Rockford due to an error on Lakeland. It was Sammi Russell up next who singled and advanced Bihun to second. Next up, McCathran Andrew reached on a fielder's choice, however it was Bihun who paid the price as she was thrown out at third. It was Shannon LeGath (Sturtevant, Wis.) this time who reached first on a fielder's choice as she loaded the bases for Rockford with one out. Next it was Abigail Wellwood who knocked a single for the Regents and brought Russell and McCathran home to make the score 15-2.
The Muskies did not shy away as they added four more runs in the top of the fifth to make their lead 19-2.
Rockford was able to get one more run in the bottom of the fifth to make the final score of game two 19-3. Allison Kaiser started the inning off by singling up the middle before being able to advance to second on a fielding error by the center fielder. Brittany Bihun followed suit as she knocked one back up the middle to bring Kaiser home for the Regents final run of the game.
Abigail Wellwood led the Regents in game two as she went 1-for-2 from the plate with two RBIs.
The Rockford University softball team returns to action when it travels to take on Alverno on Monday, April 2. First pitch is set for 3 PM.