Riverside-Brookfield softball coach Dan Hull had to work overtime to celebrate his 300th win after the Bulldogs’ 5-4 victory over De La Salle on Thursday.

Tied at 4-4 with the Meteors after seven innings, Becky Mantel tripled to open the top of the eighth inning. With two outs, Molly Ely had the game-winning infield hit to scratch out Hull’s landmark victory.

Kylie O’Connell pitched four innings and Kristin Kleinmeyer worked two of relief. O’Connell returned the last two innings, earning the win for RB. Michelle Demitro and Emily Hastings each drove in a run, while Liz Demitro’s single scored Maggie Zeleny and Molly Ely to put RB up 4-2 in the fifth.

“The kids knew it was my 300th and they were jumping up and down,” Hull said. “People think I’ve been coaching at RB for a long time, but it’s only been 12 years. I think the kids were even more excited than me.”

During Hull’s coaching tenure at RB, the Bulldogs have averaged 25 wins per season. This spring has been no exception with RB amassing a sparkling 29-4 record, including another Metro Suburban Conference (14-1) championship.

Minooka dealt RB its lone loss last week, a 2-0 setback at the Stone City Tournament on Saturday. Missing five key seniors, who all attended Prom, Hull played three freshmen, four sophomores and three juniors.

Junior Rachel Denneny threw well, allowing only one earned run in four innings. Other promising players like sophomore Megan Frey and freshmen Kelly Ely, Ashley Haugh, and Hastings also performed well.

“I am as proud of this effort as any during the entire season,” Hull said. “Rachel pitched really well and we played great defense.”

On May 17, RB coasted to a 6-0 win over Reavis. Celebrating Senior Day, Hull started seven seniors and another senior Morgan Vogel (out with back injury) coached first base. Kleinmeyer tossed a complete game, two-hitter striking out four and walking one. Jessie Hutchens provided most of the damage offensively with a pair of home runs (solo, two-run), while Liz Demitro smashed a two-RBI double during the Bulldogs’ four-run fifth inning. Kiley Rusen added an RBI single in the sixth inning.

Hutchens finished the regular season hitting .541 and setting new school records in home runs (12) and RBIs (60). Rusen (.492, team-leading 62 hits, 34 RBIs), Liz Demitro (.463), Michelle Demitro (.433), Kleinmeyer (10-0, .428, 33 RBIs), O’Connell (11-1, 1.66 ERA) and Vogel (8-2) all fueled the Bulldogs’ stellar 2010 campaign.

Riverside-Brookfield played the winner of the Manley-Cristo Rey game yesterday (May 25) at the Longwood Regional in the Class 3A state playoffs. With a victory, RB advances to the regional title game on Saturday (11 a.m.) against the winner of St. Joseph vs. Longwood.

Riverside-Brookfield is the No. 1 seed in the Glenbard South Sectional followed by the host No. 2 Raiders, No. 3 Trinity and No. 4 Nazareth.

“Anything can happen,” Hull said. “Our sectional is up for grabs. I think any of the top four teams can win it.”