The red-hot Riverside-Brookfield softball team extended its winning streak to 11 games last week.
The Bulldogs (18-1, 7-0 Metro Suburban Conference) swept a doubleheader against host Ridgewood on Saturday. In Game 1, RB sophomore Kylie O’Connell allowed five hits and struck out four, while Kiley Rusen (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) and Michelle Demitro (2 RBI, 4 runs) paced the offense for a 13-1 victory.
Playing several reserves in Game 2, the Bulldogs cruised to a 20-2 victory as Kristin Kleinmeyer gave up five hits and struck out six. Rusen went 3-for-3, including two triples, and Liz Demitro knocked in four runs.
“We played everybody in the second game,” RB coach Dan Hull said. “This is a loose, confident group. I’m amazed at times at how well we are hitting.”
On April 21, Riverside-Brookfield defeated Ridgewood 10-0 in the series opener. The Bulldogs erupted for six runs in the second inning, triggered by RBI singles from Rusen, Michelle Demitro and Liz Demitro. Rusen also blasted a solo home run and shortstop Jessie Hutchens drove in four runs.
The Bulldogs opened last week with a 9-0 victory over Lyons. Morgan Vogel worked four innings to pick up the win. Kylie O’Connell pitched well in relief, and the devastating Rusen/Hutchens combo batted in seven runs.
With their impressive win over the Lions, the Bulldogs won all three games against area rivals Nazareth, Morton and Lyons.
“I’m pretty happy where we are [now],” Hull said, “but I’m also looking down the road.”
Tinkering with the lineup, Hull moved Molly Ely from second base to right field where she has shined defensively. Maggie Zeleny and Megan Landahl have taken over at second base.
The Bulldogs’ pitching and hitting has been even more effective. Seniors Vogel (7-1, 1.32 ERA) and Kleinmeyer (6-0, 2.32 ERA), along with sophomore O’Connell (5-0, 1.36 ERA), comprise a stellar trio of starters.
“They are all pitching their hearts out,” Hull said. “With our offense, too, we can win some games by just out-hitting teams.”
Hutchens leads RB with a .546 batting average and an astounding 35 RBIs. Liz Demitro (.534), Vogel (.468) and Michelle Demitro (.463) are also producing huge seasons.
The Bulldogs visit Richards on Thursday (4:30 p.m.) for a non-conference game.