Regents Sweep Leads to King Milestone
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Posted by: Regents Sports Information
ROCKFORD, Ill. – For the past 19 years, the focus of the Rockford College softball program has been squarely on the players. But after Tuesday’s NAC conference opening sweep of Maranatha Baptist Bible College, the players managed to shift some of that focus to their head coach, Kristyn King.
With Tuesday’s 12-3 and 14-12 home wins, King reached the 300 win plateau, becoming only the second coach in Rockford College history to do so. She joins former Regents head baseball coach and Regents Athletic Hall of Famer Bill Langston who amassed 327 wins from 1981-2003. King’s first win came on April 21, 1993. On that afternoon, Rockford defeated Judson College 13-3 and 10-6, both on the arm of Julie Rinando. They were the only two victories for the Regents that season, but they began a legacy that continues to this day.
King’s time as a Regents goes back to 1985 when she came to Rockford as a freshman and began a stellar four-year career as a catcher under former coach Glenda Smith. As a senior, King hit .458 with two home runs and 10 stolen bases en route to the 1989 All-Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference Team and the National Softball Coaches Association All-Midwest Region Softball Second Team.
In game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Regents jumped out to a commanding lead, scoring four runs before recording their first out of the game. Rockford closed the game with a six run fourth inning that saw 11 batters at the plate. Senior Kristi Durlak (Lake Villa, Ill./ Grant Community) paced the Regents offense with three hits and two RBI’s. Junior Katy Atkerson (Serena, Ill./ Serena) also knocked in two runs for Rockford. Junior pitcher Eryn Dougherty (Ottawa, Ill./ Illinois Valley CC) notched her second win of the year with a five inning performance with seven strikeouts.
The Regents put them selves in danger early in game two, allowing the first five Crusaders to step into the batters box to cross the plate. Rockford returned the favor in the bottom of the first inning, plating five runs including three on a bases clearing double to left field by junior Paige Newhuis (Crete, Ill./ Prairie State College). Trailing 9-8 in the fourth inning, the Regents again responded with another five run inning. Durlak again came up big with a two out, two RBI single up the middle to score Bridget Kennedy (Sugar Grove, Ill./ Waubonsee CC) and freshman Hailey Johnson (Moorhead, Minn./ Morehead), the eventual game winning run. Kennedy, Durlak, and Newhuis each recorded three hits on the game, with Durlak and Newhuis knocking in three runs apiece. Newhuis also improved to 2-2 in the pitcher's circle with the win, allowing just one earned run in 3.2 innings. Dougherty recorded her first save of the season.
The victories improve the Regents to 4-8 overall and 2-0 in the NAC. Rockford will hit the road this weekend for conference doubleheaders at Dominican University on Saturday and Benedictine University on Sunday.