The Riverside-Brookfield softball team reclaimed bragging rights against rival Morton with a 9-5 win over the host Mustangs on Friday.
Morgan Vogel (6-1) earned a complete game victory, allowing two earned runs and five hits while striking out seven.
“Morton is a big rival,” Vogel said. “I pitched against them last year [Morton won 4-3] and I wanted this game very much. I was out there pitching my hardest. I’m so proud of our team.”
The Bulldogs’ balanced offense was on display against Morton ace Vlasta Mangia. Kiley Rusen (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) led off the game with a sharp single to left field and scored on Jessie Hutchens’ RBI infield single to put RB up 1-0. The Bulldogs tacked on three more runs in the third inning with run-scoring doubles from Rusen and Liz Demitro (2-for-4).
“We came out ready to play, we hit pretty well and played good defense,” Rusen said. “Since our loss at Oak Park, we have picked up the pace. We have been practicing hard and know we have to come out hard for the next couple of weeks.”
With RB leading 6-1, the Mustangs rallied with a pair of runs in the sixth when Daisy DeSantiago and Kathyrn Kadela each knocked in a run. However, the Bulldogs (14-1, 4-0 Metro Suburban Conference) put the game away with three runs in the seventh to build a 9-3 lead.
Liz Demitro led off the last frame with a single, followed by Hutchens’ long drive to center which was misplayed by Morton. Vogel then smashed a single to bring home Hutchens. Megan Landahl closed the scoring for RB with a double to right field which plated Vogel.
The Mustangs (10-5) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, however Vogel struck out DeSantiago to end the game.
“Morgan was awesome [today],” RB coach Dan Hull said. “We allowed some unearned runs, but she never loses her composure. Morgan has been focused every game this season.”
The Bulldogs consolidated their strong showing against Morton with a pair of conference victories – 12-1 and 12-6 over Illiana Christian – on Saturday. In Game 1, Kylie O’Connell (4-0) picked up the win, tossing a complete-game, one-hitter, while the red-hot Rusen went 3-for-4, highlighted by a two-run homer. Hutchens finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
In Game 2, Kristin Kleinmeyer (4-0) completed the sweep by striking out seven over five innings and going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Demitro (3-for-5, 2 RBIs) also contributed in the nightcap.
Riverside-Brookfield defeated Illiana Christian 6-4 earlier last week (Thursday, April 15) as Vogel gave up a run and four hits over 4 2/3 innings. Rusen provided a key three-run triple in the game.