The RB softball team has had to put in some extra work to run its Suburban Prairie (East) Conference record to 4-0. Twice the Bulldogs (17-4) have needed extra innings to finish off an opponent, most recently on Tuesday, April 26, when they needed 10 frames to pull out a 9-8 win over Elmwood Park.
With the wind blowing out, both teams combined for 29 hits in a see-saw battle that ended when April Hutchens drove in the winning run with a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning..
"With these one-run extra-inning games, I think our conference is shaping up to be a lot tougher than people think," RB coach Dan Hull said. "But I think these one-run games will help us in the playoffs. We're getting used to playing in these tight games."
The Bulldogs, who led 7-5 going into the seventh inning, lost a chance to go home early when Elmwood Park plated two runs against pitcher Sam Maas, who was on in relief of Emma Forsberg after she threw the first five innings.
A run in the ninth by the Tigers put the Bulldogs behind the eight-ball before Megan Hutchens clouted a long game-tying home run to send the game to the 10th.
After Maas held Elmwood Park scoreless in the top half of the inning, the Bulldogs had two outs before Jamie Duffek and Stephanie Madsen drew walks, setting the stage for April Hutchens' game-winning base hit.
RB had an easier time Thursday in the second game of the two-game series, winning 5-1. April Hutchens drove in a run in the first inning and Madsen would drive in the winning run on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth. The Bulldogs tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh.
In non-conference action on Friday, Madsen went 4-for-4 and scored three runs to lead RB to an 8-0 win against Trinity. Maas (12-2) earned her third win of the week by holding the Blazers hitless through the first four innings.
RB baseball gets out brooms
After stumbling early, the RB baseball team is still within striking distance of Suburban Prairie (East) conference leader Ridgewood after sweeping Elmwood Park last week, including a doubleheader on Saturday.
Make Marotta struck out nine and gave up only two runs on nine hits in a complete-game effort that helped lift the Bulldogs to a 4-2 win in the first game.
Marotta, Nick Ely and Steve Wilhelm all drove in runs while Ely chipped in two hits in four at-bats.
RB needed extra innings to claim an 8-7 win in the nightcap. RB scored three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to erase a 7-1 deficit. In the eighth inning, Russ Kesman scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
The Bulldogs are one game behind Ridgewood and play in conference again Thursday against Evergreen Park. RB hopes to avoid losing any more ground before beginning a three-game series with the conference leader in two weeks.