LOVES PARK, Ill. - The Rockford University softball team (10-8, 2-0 NACC) opened NACC play on a high note sweeping the Aurora University Spartans (7-7, 0-2 NACC) in the Regents home opener. RU took game one in dramatic fashion as Dylan King (Constantine, Mich.) cranked a walk-off double to give the Regents a 6-5 win. Rockford carried that momentum into the second game as the Regents took down the Spartans by a final score of 5-2. This is the first time Rockford has beaten Aurora since 2010 and first time sweeping the Spartans since joining the NACC in 2007. This is the first time RU softball has swept any NACC opponent since the 2015 season when it swept Wisconsin Lutheran.
Game 1: Rockford 6 Aurora 5
- Rockford saw themselves in a hole early after the Spartans tacked on two runs in the first and the second to take a 4-0 lead on the Regents.
- RU would not get one back until the bottom of the fourth to trail Aurora 4-1.
- Emily Cox (Erie, Ill.) started things off as she singled to center field. On the next play Brittany Bihun (Schaumburg, Ill.) would reach on a fielder's choice as Cox was out at second.
- Dylan King did well to poke one into right field to give RU runners on first and second.
- Destiny Darmon (Byron, Ill.) would be the next to reach on a fielder's choice, but not before Bihun was able to advance to third. Darmon did well to bait the catcher into making an errant throw into the outfield, which allowed her to reach second and for Bihun to trot home.
- Rockford rode that momentum in the next inning as Rylee Klema (Mendota, Ill.) ripped a single with one out.
- Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) was able to reach on a fielder's choice, to bring Annaka Bartz (Rockton, Ill.) up to bat with two outs.
- Bartz laced one through the right side to send Schrubbe streaking to third.
- Cox did well to smash a double bringing both runners home and making it a 4-3 game, while leaving Bartz on third.
- Next Dylan King cranked one up the middle which would be enough to bring Bartz home, tying the game at 4-4.
- The Spartans immediately regained the lead in the top of the sixth to take a 5-4 lead.
- It would come down to the final inning to decide the game for the Regents.
- Bartz ripped a double down the left field line before Cox drew a walk. Bihun did her part with a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third.
- With one out Dylan King smashed a double to center field scoring both runners, as the Regents took down the Spartans 6-5 in walk-off fashion.
- Klema did well in the circle stranding seven Aurora runners during the game.
Game 2: Rockford 5 Aurora 2
- This time it was the Regents who jumped out to the early lead as they carried the momentum from game one to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
- With one out Darmon smashed the ball into right center and raced around the bases for a triple.
- Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) proceeded to draw a walk before McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third.
- After a Klema walk, Schrubbe found herself up with bases loaded. Schrubbe did well to knock one down the left field line to bring Darmon and Russell home giving the Regents the early lead.
- Klema was playing fantastic in the circle as she had allowed just two hits through the first four innings.
- It would not be until the top of the fifth that the Spartans would get on the scoreboard, as they were able to notch the game up at 2-2.
- Rockford was determined to not let the game slip away as the Regents immediately answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame.
- With one out Schrubbe singled to left field before Bartz would wear the pitch giving RU runners on first and second.
- Emily Cox knocked a hard single through the right side that gave the outfielder trouble allowing Bartz to score and Schrubbe to get to third, as Cox ended on second.
- After a flyout Cox found herself on third before King, as she had done all day, brought her home with a single to left field.
- Klema kept going to work in the circle allowing only one hit in the final two innings as Rockford hung on to complete the sweep of Aurora in game two by a final of 5-2.
- Emily Cox was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and tallied 2 runs scored and an RBI.
- Dylan King went 3-for-4 including a walk-off double. King tallied 4 RBIs.
- Annaka Bartz finished 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored.
- Sammi Russell recorded a double.
- Rylee Klema earned her first win in NACC play tossing a complete game.
- Gretchen Schrubbe led the way in game two going 2-for-4 with a double, adding 2 RBIs and a run scored.
- Emily Cox finished 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
- Dylan King went 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Destiny Darmon went 1-for-3 including a triple.
- Rylee Klema pitched her 14th complete game allowing just 5 hits and 2 runs. Klema picked up her 10th win on the season, which is the most wins by a Rockford pitcher since the 2009 season.
The Rockford University softball team gets right back to action on Sunday, March 31 against Benedictine. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 1 PM.