ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University softball team (4-30, 0-18 NACC) took to field to face off against the Edgewood College Eagles (14-18, 6-12 NACC) on Wednesday evening. Rockford fought hard in both games but the Eagles offense proved too strong. The Regents fell in game one 17-6 before falling 12-4 in game two.
In game one the Eagles got out to an early start as they scored four runs in the first and two in the second to take a 6-0 lead over RU.
Rockford found some life in the third inning off a Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) two-run shot. With one out, Emily Johannes (Eau Claire, Wis.) reached first for the Regents to give Schrubbe a runner on with one out. The freshman has continued to hit the ball well all year as she slammed the pitch deep over the center field wall to trot around the bases for a two-run homer. It was an impressive feat for Schrubbe as Rockford hosts one of the largest diamonds in the conference. That home run would bring the Regents back within four to make it 6-2 heading into the top of the fourth.
Edgewood did not let momentum shift after the Regent home run as the Eagles went on to score a run in the fourth before scoring two more in the fifth. Rockford would be staring at a 9-1 deficit entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
It was Johannes again who gave Rockford a base runner to start out the inning, as she beat out a dropped third pitch strike at first base. Two outs later, Alex Storey (Dexter, Mich.) benefitted off an error to allow her to get to first and move Johannes to second. Errors continued to help the Regents as Allison Kaiser reached first due to an error as well as sent Johannes racing around the bases to score a run.
In the top of the sixth the Eagles turned up the heat as they went on to score eight runs and take a commanding 17-3 lead over Rockford.
The Regents needed to dig deep in the bottom of the sixth to try and bring the game to within reach. Abigail Wellwood (Rockford, Ill.) attempted to start a spark as she singled to center field. One batter later, Katlyn Fiorucci (Machesney Park, Ill.) kept it going as she singled toward third base and advanced Wellwood to second. With Emily Johannes at the plate, a wild pitch by Edgewood would allow Rockford to have runners on second and third with one out. Johannes did her part as she singled up the middle to advance Fiorucci to third and bring Wellwood home. The very next play, Schrubbe knocked a single into left center to move Johannes to third and score Fiorucci. Next up, McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Johannes to score and make it a 17-6 game. Unfortunately the Rockford rally would be halted as the Regents dropped game one 17-6.
Freshman Gretchen Schrubbe led Rockford in game one as she went 2-for-4 with a home run, 3 RBIs and a run scored. Abigail Wellwood did well as she went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Emily Johannes finished game one with 3 runs scored and an RBI.
In game two the Regents did much better defensively as they only surrendered one run in the first inning. Unfortunately, the tide would turn for the Eagles as a big ten-run third inning gave Edgewood an 11-1 lead heading into the top of the fifth. In the fifth the Eagles tacked on one more run to try and put the Regents away with a score of 12-0.
RU again battled to the very end but it was two late as Rockford fell to the Eagles in game two by a final of 12-4. Shannon LeGath (Sturtevant, Wis.) started the bottom of the fifth out for Rockford a she knocked a single into left field. Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) followed with a single of her own to center field. Two batters later, the Regents continued to fight and claw as McCathran Andrew hit a clutch triple to left center, allowing both the runners to score. Alex Story kept the momentum going a she hit an RBI single to right field. Fiorucci would enter the game as a pinch runner and did well as she advanced to second on an Allison Kaiser (South Elgin, Ill.) single up the middle. Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) and Abigail Wellwood each drew walks to move the runners around the bases and eventually bring home Fiorucci for the Regents final run of the game.
In game two Allison Kaiser went a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate for Rockford. McCathran Andrew finished the second game with 2RBIs, a triple and a run scored. Abigail Wellwood went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
The Rockford University softball team returns to the diamond on Friday, April 27 as it hosts MSOE for senior day. First pitch is set for 3 PM.