A few extra-innings didn’t help the Riverside Brookfield softball team on Saturday as the Bulldogs dropped both games of a doubleheader against Trinity.
“We haven’t been getting any breaks this season, but they’ll turn it around; they always do,” said RB’s head coach Dan Hull, after his team fell 1-0 in nine innings in the opener and 11-10 in eight innings in the nightcap.
Under perfect weather conditions, the first game pitted the Bulldogs’ pitching ace, Sam Maas, against Trinity’s Alison Hernandez. Maas had four strikeouts that were well placed, with two of them ending the first and eighth innings. She gave up only six hits and no walks in the outing.
“It was a heartbreaker. It’s one of those games where everything either goes your way, or doesn’t go your way,” said Maas. We’re a very young team. We do have a lot of inexperienced players, but we’re starting to come together as a team.”
RB’s biggest scoring threat came in the sixth when Jamie Duffek led off the sixth inning with a single. After the next batter grounded out, a controversial hit by April Hutchens that first appeared to be a triple scoring a run, was ruled by the umpires as a double. It brought the base runners back to second and third, but the Bulldogs (10-8) left them stranded.
In the top of the ninth, Trinity went ahead on a solo homer by Kelly O’Brien. In the second half of the inning, RB freshman Fallon Ryan led off for the Bulldogs with her second base hit of the game. The next hitter was out on a bunt, while the final two hitters both grounded out to end the game.
The Bulldogs got on the board early in Game 2. Duffek got a single and then Hutchins doubled her in to go up 1-0 after two. RB added three more runs in the fourth on consecutive hits by Maas, Duffek and Ryan. Sacrifice flies by both Hutchins and Maggie McCloskey upped the lead.
The next inning Trinity tied it up at four until it was the Bulldogs turn to bat. Emma Forsberg smashed a home run, then doubles by Duffek, Ryan and Hutchins added four more runs for an 8-4 lead.
Trinity answered back with four runs in the sixth, and the game was tied again at 8-8. After all of that offense, a quiet seventh for both teams took the game to extra innings. Trinity got three runs in the eighth, but the Bulldogs fought back. They added two runs to get within one.
April Hutchins had a big day for the Bulldogs. The sophomore had three doubles, a single and three RBIs on the day.
“Our base running was great. When we get on base, most of the time they came home. We have good chemistry. If we keep the chemistry and the attitude is great, everything will fall together,” said Hutchens.
Duffek finished with four hits and an RBI. Freshman Regan Riley had two doubles, a single and two RBIs in the second game for RB.