LISLE, Ill. - The Rockford University softball team (4-24, 0-12 NACC) had another tough road test on Friday when the Regents squared off against the first-place Benedictine University Eagles (18-9, 9-1 NACC). It was a difficult day for the Regents, as the Eagles got off to a fast start in each of the two games and never looked back, sweeping the doubleheader by final scores of 12-4 and 22-2.
Game one was all about the big inning, as Benedictine scored nine of its twelve runs in just two innings. The Eagles opened with five runs off five hits in the first to take a quick 5-0 advantage. Benedictine then added a single run in the third and four runs off six hits the fourth to jump in front 10-0.
However as has been the case all year, Rockford continued to fight and scored four runs of its own in the top of the fifth. The Regents opened the frame with four straight singles to scratch across their first couple runs of the day. Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.), Alex Storey (Dexter, Mich.), Brittany Bihun (Schaumburg, Ill.) and Allison Kaiser (South Elgin, Ill.) all singled, with Bihun and Kaiser each driving in a run. Rockford then scored its third run of the inning on a Benedictine error, before Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) drove in Rockford's final run of the game on a fielder's choice. Unfortunately it was not enough as the Eagles answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth for the 12-4 win.
Rockford pounded out seven hits by six different Regents in the opener. Freshman Gretchen Schrubbe led the way going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Sophomore Brittany Bihun went 1-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Alex Storey and Emily Johannes (Eau Claire, Wis.) both were 1-for-3 with a run scored. Allison Kaiser finished 1-for-3 with an RBI, and McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) went 1-for-3 with a double.
Game two followed a similar pattern as the Eagles used a trio of big innings to secure the win. Benedictine again opened the game with five runs in the first inning to leap out to a 5-0 lead. The Eagles would then add four more runs in the second and thirteen in the fourth to seal the victory.
Rockford's two runs came in the top of the third off one hit. The Regents began the inning by taking advantage of a Benedictine error to put a runner on first with no one out. One batter later, freshman Gretchen Schrubbe crushed the first home run of her collegiate career to put the Regents on the board. However it was not enough as Benedictine went on to win by a final score of 22-2.
Gretchen Schrubbe and Sammi Russell each finished with multiple hits in game two. Schrubbe went 2-for-3 with a home run, a run scored and 2 RBIs. It was Schrubbe's third straight multi-hit game and her tenth of the season. Russell also had a nice game going 2-for-2 with a double, for her second multi-hit performance in the last three games.
The RU softball team returns home on Saturday, April 21 to take on Dominican University. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon at the Smith Athletic Field.