The Riverside-Brookfield softball team maintained its winning ways with five victories last week.
After enduring a four-game losing streak earlier this season, the Bulldogs (14-5, 5-3 Metro Suburban Conference) have won nine of their last 10 games.
“I think we’re playing very well,” RB coach John Vermillion said. “We went 5-0 for the week so it’s pretty hard to do much better than that [record]. The keys for us are pitching and defense. I’ve always said if we pitch well and play good defense, we can compete with anybody.”
Riverside-Brookfield swept a doubleheader against host Oswego East on Saturday. I In Game 1 the Bulldogs won 5-1 by breaking open a close contest in the top of the seventh inning. Leading 1-0, RB scored four runs in the frame courtesy of Molly Ely’s sacrifice fly and three straight RBI hits from Becky Mantel (2-for-4, 2 runs), Ashlee Haugh and Kiley O’Connell (2-for-4, 4 RBIs). Oswego East had only five hits against O’Connell (9-3), who threw a complete game.
In Game 2, RB cruised to an 8-0 victory in six innings. Rachel Denneny picked up the win with a complete-game four-hitter, while every RB starter had at least one hit. O’Connell went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Rusen added two RBIs and a run scored. Mantel reached base in all of her plate appearances and scored three times.
On the basepaths, the aggressive Bulldogs stole nine bases, including two swipes apiece from Megan Frey, Kelly Ely, O’Connell, and Rusen.
“We hit the ball hard,” Vermillion said. “Everybody contributed to the win, even our subs. Our running game is another way for us to keep pressure on other teams.”
The Bulldogs routed Illiana Christian 11-0 in six innings on Thursday in Metro Suburban Conference action. Holding a 4-0 lead after four frames, RB scored four runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth to end the game early. Kelly Ely had three hits, three RBIs and three runs, while Rusen finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Senior Maggie Zeleny also drove in a pair of runs for RB. Denneny allowed four hits en route to a complete-game victory.
“I think we put over 200 miles on the team bus,” said Vermillion about the Bulldogs’ playing four of five games on the road last week. “We’re trying to get in games whenever we can because of all the bad weather this spring.”
With the Metro Suburban Conference holding its league bye this week, RB will visit Queen of Peace (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.) and St. Ignatius (Saturday, 10 a.m.) in nonconference games.