MILWAUKEE, Wis. - After being snowed out two of the last three days, the weather finally cooperated on Tuesday allowing the Regents (2-20, 0-8 NACC) and Wisconsin Lutheran College Warriors (8-10, 3-3 NACC) to finally play their NACC doubleheader. The opener belonged to the Warriors as they were in control from start to finish, winning by a final score of 10-0. However game two was a much different story, as Rockford led for the majority of the game. Unfortunately it was the Warriors who came up with some late-inning heroics, tying the game in the bottom of the seventh and then winning it 4-3 in the eighth, to secure the sweep.
Game one got off to a rocky start as Wisconsin Lutheran stormed out of the gates early taking a 10-0 lead after two innings of play. The Warriors scored six runs off six hits in the top of the first, and then added four more runs off five hits in the bottom of the second to build a commanding lead. Fortunately the Rockford pitching staff settled down and allowed just one base runner for the remainder of the game. However the Regents were unable to dig themselves out of the early hole, falling 10-0.
Offensively in game one Rockford was led by the duo of Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) and Alex Storey (Dexter, Mich.). Russell tallied her third multi-hit game of the season going a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate. Storey was the other Regent to record a hit in the game, going 1-for-2.
Following a tough loss in the opener, Rockford rebounded nicely with an excellent performance in the nightcap. The Warriors would open the game with a pair of unearned runs in the first, before the RU offense exploded for a trio of runs in the fourth to take the lead. Rockford loaded the bases with one out thanks to singles by Shannon LeGath (Sturtevant, Wis.) and Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) and a walk by Katlyn Fiorucci (Machesney Park, Ill.). After a Warrior pitching change, freshman Gretchen Schrubbe (Elgin, Ill.) drove in Rockford's first run of the day with an RBI groundout to make it a 2-1 game. One batter later, senior Alex Storey laced an RBI single back up the middle to knot the game at 2-2. The Regents would take a 3-2 lead a couple of batters later courtesy of a Sammi Russell RBI single. However Rockford was unable to tack on any insurance runs as the Regents left the bases loaded in the fourth and left two runners on base in three additional innings.
The Rockford pitching staff seemed to have everything under control though as senior pitcher Abigail Wellwood (Rockford, Ill.) threw extremely well for the Regents. After allowing two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning, Wellwood had the Warrior hitters off balance for almost the entire remainder of the game. At one point she retired eight straight hitters and was just one out away from giving Rockford its first NACC win of the year. Unfortunately with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Warriors hit a lucky solo home run to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Wisconsin Lutheran would continue its momentum in the eighth, scoring the game-winning run off a pair of singles.
Despite the loss, the Regents really seemed to find their stride both offensively and defensively. In game two the Regents pounded out seven hits and had runners on base in six of the eight innings. Alex Storey led the way going 2-for-5 with an RBI single. Storey has now recorded at least two hits in two of her four games this season. Sammi Russell and Gretchen Schrubbe each drove in a run. Brittany Bihun (Schaumburg, Ill.), Shannon LeGath and Abigail Wellwood all went 1-for-3, while Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) was 1-for-4. Defensively the Regents played a near perfect doubleheader, committing just one error in the two games combined. Inside the circle, Abigail Wellwood threw her best game so far this season. Wellwood tossed her first complete game of the year going all 7.1 innings and allowing just two earned runs for a 1.91 earned run average on the day.
The RU softball team returns to the diamond on Thursday, April 12 at Maranatha Baptist University. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 3 PM.