The Riverside-Brookfield High School softball team has been on a roll all season, with the Bulldogs winning 12 out of their last 13 games through last week.
The Bulldogs (15-3) defeated Richards 13-3 on May 15 via a stellar pitching performance by senior Hannah Smith. Offensively, senior Isabella Garcia led the offense, going 4-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBI. Meanwhile, freshman catcher Zoe Levine hit her team-high sixth home run of the season.
“We score in bunches, which takes pressure off of our high-quality pitchers,” said coach Doug Schultz. “Our identity is what we do on the offensive side. We’re able to get to pitches quickly and are hitting a lot of home runs.”
Senior Hannah Organ has five of those home runs on the season, while Garcia has four to go with a team-high .585 batting average and 27 RBI.
“I think that one of the things that has been a huge strength for us has been our hitting, said Organ. “We have been scoring a lot of runs against some good teams and we have been hitting the ball hard.”
Organ has pitched 50.2 innings this season, notching 68 strikeouts with a 2.07 ERA, while Smith has 63 strikeouts with a 2.13 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched on the year.
The Bulldogs, who seek their first conference championship since 2010, have had some key wins against league opponents like Bishop McNamara and Ridgewood. With only one conference loss so far this spring, Garcia knows the conference title is in sight.
“Our recent games against Bishop McNamara were big wins,” said Garcia. They were important to how we will place in conference. Our first game against Ridgewood was a really close game that we won. To finish strong going into playoffs, we need to continue our hard work.”
Both Garcia and Organ have had excellent careers for the Bulldogs. Garcia has committed to play college softball at Maryville University.
“I am really glad I was able to play my senior year in a safe way with my team to close out my high school career,” Garcia said.
“I think one of the big milestones for us was coming together as a team,” Organ said. “We only had three returning varsity players this year, so we have all had to adapt to playing with an entire new group of girls, and I think we have done a great job in doing so even though we have only been playing together for about a month.”