PLYMOUTH, Wis. - The Rockford University softball team (15-17, 5-9 NACC) split a its two regular season games, 3-2 and 4-3, at Lakeland University (14-16, 7-7 NACC) on Saturday. Game one was the definition of a pitchers' duel, as the two teams combined to score five runs in a total of ten innings. Both the Regents and Muskies scored a pair of runs in the sixth, but it was Lakeland who eventually came up with the game-winning hit the bottom of the tenth to take the opener 3-2. Game two had a similar feel with Rockford taking a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth. Fortunately, this time Rockford was able to hang on for the 4-3 victory.
Lakeland University 3 Rockford University 2 (10 Innings)
- Neither team was able to score a run for the first five innings of the game despite tallying nine hits combined. The two teams also left a total of nine runners on base entering the sixth.
- The Regents were able to break the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs. Annaka Bartz (Rockton, Ill.) and Emily Cox (Erie, Ill.) began the inning with a double and a single to put runners on second and third with no one out. One batter later, Dylan King (Constantine, Mich.) laced a two-run single into right, scoring Bartz and Cox, to give the Regents a 2-0 lead. However, Lakeland was able to retire three of the next four batters to limit the damage to just two runs.
- The Muskies were then able to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning with a pair of unearned runs. Lakeland used two hits and took advantage of one Regent miscue to knot the game at 2-2 heading into the seventh.
- Rockford had chances to score in both the seventh and ninth innings. McCathran Andrew (Rockford, Ill.) began the seventh with a leadoff double down the right field line. The Regents were able to advance Andrew to third, but unfortunately, were unable to drive her in. In the ninth, the Regents put a runner on second base with one out following a Muskie error and a sacrifice bunt. However, the Muskies retired two of the next three batters to once again wiggle out of the jam.
- The Muskies would then end the game with a run in the bottom of the tenth. Lakeland began the inning with a single and then worked the runner over to third with two outs. Unfortunately, Leah Binsfield came up with a game-winning single to right center, as the Muskies took the opener 3-2.
- RU freshman pitcher Rylee Klema (Mendota, Ill.) threw a season-high 9.2 innings in the game for her NACC leading 22nd complete game of the year. Klema allowed just one earned run, while striking out five.
Rockford University 4 Lakeland University 3
- Rockford jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game two.
- The Regents got the scoring started with two runs in the top of the third inning. Emily Cox and Brittany Bihun (Schaumburg, Ill.) each singled to put runners on first and second with two outs. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Destiny Darmon (Byron, Ill.) delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single back up the middle.
- Rockford extended its lead to 3-0 with a single run in the top of the fourth inning. Rylee Klema began the inning with a leadoff double, and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. One batter later, Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) ripped an RBI single to left field to drive in Klema.
- The Regents would make it a 4-0 game in the top of the fifth. After the first two batters went down in order, Destiny Darmon showed off her speed and reached base via an infield single. Darmon then stole second base to put herself in scoring position with two outs. Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) followed with what turned out to be a crucial RBI single into left field to score Darmon.
- Four runs seemed to be more than enough support for RU starting pitcher Rylee Klema. Klema cruised through the first four innings, retiring 12 straight batters after a leadoff error to start the game.
- The Muskies were finally able to get to Klema in the fifth, tallying their first hit of the game and scoring a trio of runs.
- Fortunately, Klema dig deep, and retired seven of the final eight batters to preserve the 4-3 Rockford win.
- Rylee Klema fired a season-high 9.2 innings for her 22nd complete game of the season. Klema allowed just one earned run and scattered 14 hits, while striking out five.
- Emily Cox went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
- Dylan King finished 1-for-5 with 2 RBIs.
- McCathran Andrew was 2-for-4 with a double.
- Rylee Klema earned her NACC leading 13th win of the year. Klema went all seven innings, allowing three runs off four hits, all of which came in the fifth inning. The freshman also struck out four batters to bring her season total to 97.
- Destiny Darmon went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
- Emily Cox was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- Sammi Russell and Gretchen Schrubbe each drove in a run.
The RU softball team returns to the diamond on Monday, April 22 against Alverno College. First pitch is set for 3 PM at Sportscore Two.