At 2-11, the Riverside-Brookfield softball team faces an obviously deep hole to dig out of just to reach .500 let alone claim a winning record. But the Bulldogs’ fortunes could turn around relatively quickly within Metro Suburban Conference play, however, where traditionally RB racks up a high volume of wins.
Unfortunately, facing the defending Class 3A state champion/Metro Suburban Conference champion Glenbard South last week served as a speed bump of sorts on RB’s road to recovery regarding its record. The Bulldogs lost 4-2 to the Raiders in Glen Ellyn.
Locked in a scoreless duel entering the bottom of the fourth inning, Glenbard South scored three runs via two doubles, a single and a walk to take the lead.
RB responded with two runs in the fifth inning to pull within 3-2 as sophomore left fielder Lana Herrmann and Ashlee Haugh provided an RBI single and sacrifice fly, respectively, to score Katie O’Connell and Emily Hasting and put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.
O’Connell took the tough luck loss, allowing four runs on three hits. She also struck out four and issued a pair of walks.
The Raiders added an insurance run in the sixth inning en route to their 4-2 victory. RB fell to 1-2 in the Metro Suburban, dropping its opener 13-9 to Elmwood Park before routing Illiana Christian 10-0.
Adding to the frustration of their slow start, the Bulldogs have battled bad weather and injuries. Last week, RB cancelled essentially its conference series against Fenton (three games) along with a nonconference game against area rival Morton due to inclement weather.
On the injury front, RB has felt the effects of shortstop Kelly Ely’s absence. Ely is out with a torn ACL and torn meniscus. Last season, she turned in a stellar season hitting .439 with 36 hits, 13 RBIs and 21 runs scored.
Weather permitting (which has been no guarantee this cold, dreary spring), RB is scheduled to play games against Fenton, Illiana Christian, Ridgewood, Elmwood Park in conference action this week along with Saturday’s doubleheader at Oswego.
RB will lean on O’Connell and junior Hayden Claire in the pitcher’s circle along with production and leadership from catcher Emily Hastings, Haugh, Herrmann, Emma Schander, Jasmin Castaneda, Annabelle and Natalie Gardiner among others to hopefully string together some victories.
Last season, the Bulldogs finished 26-8 including 9-3 in the Metro Suburban. St. Francis edged RB 4-2 in a Glenbard South Sectional semifinal to end the season.t