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Since dropping its two opening games to Glenbard South in Metro Suburban Conference action, the Riverside-Brookfield softball team has remained in hot pursuit of the front-running Raiders by winning five of six league games.
The Bulldogs (15-6, 5-3) blasted conference foe Illiana Christian twice last week, 15-2 and 13-5.
RB completed its two-game mini sweep of the Vikings in a 15-2 decision in five innings last Thursday (April 26). Senior Kylie O'Connell scattered five hits and fanned seven hitters to pick up her 11th win this season. Junior Emma Schander went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored, setting the tone for the explosive Bulldogs, who amassed 20 hits and scored in every inning of the game.
The Bulldogs broke open a relatively tighter game during their 13-5 win over Illiana Christian earlier last week. The Vikings led 5-4 after three frames before RB scored a run in the fourth inning, three runs in the fifth, and five more runs in the seventh to pull away. RB started well with a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Ashlee Haugh plated three runs with a bases-clearing triple. Freshman Lana Herrmann promptly added an RBI single scoring Haugh to finish the Bulldogs' productive opening frame.
Kylie O'Connell came on in relief of her younger sister/starting pitcher Katie O'Connell, who allowed five runs - three earned over two innings - to settle down the Vikings' offense. RB also struggled defensively with five errors in the game. However, Kylie O'Connell threw well, posting five innings of six-hit ball with seven strikeouts en route to the victory. After Tierney Duffy scored on a fielder's choice to knot the game at 5-5 in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs plated their aforementioned eight unanswered runs.
Several hitting stars led the Bulldogs, who finished with 21 hits in 39 at-bats. Kiley Rusen had two doubles, two RBIs and scored twice, while Haugh finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Becky Mantel (3-for-5, RBI), Jasmin Castaneda (2-for-5, RBI, two runs), Herrmann (3-for-4, two RBIs, two runs) and Duffy (3-for-4, three RBIs, two runs) also joined the fun offensively.
Riverside-Brookfield cancelled last Saturday's nonconference doubleheader against Oswego East due to inclement weather. The Bulldogs host Queen of Peace on Thursday (May 3) at 5:30 p.m. in a nonconference matchup.