RIVER FOREST, Ill. - The Rockford University softball team (4-28, 0-16 NACC) fell twice on Sunday, 11-3 and 14-3, to the Concordia University Chicago Cougars (18-9, 9-3 NACC). Ultimately it was a big first inning by the Cougars in each of the two games that was the difference.
In the opener, Concordia Chicago scored six runs in the first off six hits to grab an early 6-0 lead. One inning later, the Cougars extended their advantage to 7-0 off a solo home run..
Rockford was finally able to break through with a single run in the fourth and two more runs in the sixth. After two quick outs to start the frame, senior Alex Storey (Dexter, Mich.) started the two-out rally with a single through the left side of the infield. Allison Kaiser (South Elgin, Ill.) kept the momentum going with a single of her own to put runners on first and second with two outs. One batter later, Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) crushed an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Storey and making it a 7-1 game. However, the Cougars answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth to push their lead back to seven, at 8-1. Rockford's final two runs of the opener came off a pair of hits in the top of the sixth. It was once again Alex Storey (Dexter, Mich.) that started the rally, this time with a one-out single into right field. Two batters later, Sammi Russell smacked a two-run home run, the first of collegiate career. Unfortunately it was not enough, as Concordia Chicago scored a trio of runs in the bottom of the inning, en route to an 11-3 win.
Alex Storey and Sammi Russell led the Rockford offensive attack in the opener. Russell finished 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, 3 RBIs and a run scored. Storey went 2-for-3 with a run scored, for her fifth multi-hit game this season.
Game two followed a similar pattern as Concordia Chicago combined to score 11 runs in the first two innigs. The Cougars struck for eight runs off five hits in the first and three more runs off five hits in the second.
The Regents continued to battle though and were able to score a run in three of the first four innings. Freshman Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) got the game started on the right foot with a leadoff double into left field. Following a wild pitch and a McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) walk, the Regents executed a double steal to perfection, scoring Schrubbe and giving Rockford its first run of the game. The Regents' run in the third came when Andrew crushed her first home run of her collegiate career. Rockford would add one more run in the fourth off a pair of hits. After a one-out walk gave Rockford its first base runner of the inning, Schrubbe and Andrew strung together back-to-back singles to load the bases with just one out. One batter later, Alex Storey drove in a run via an RBI ground to make it an 11-3 game. Unfortunately it was not enough, as the Cougars answered with three runs of their own, en route to a 14-3 victory.
Offensively Rockford was led by Gretchen Schrubbe and McCathran Andrew. Schrubbe tallied her team-leading twelfth multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. McCathran Andrew finished a perfect 2-for-2 with a home run, a run scored, an RBI and a walk.
The RU softball team returns to the diamond at home on Wednesday, April 25 against Edgewood College. First pitch is set for 4:00 PM at the Smith Athletic Field.