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Softball Rallies to Sweep Crusaders

Saturday, April 28, 2012  
Posted by: Regents Sports Information
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WATERTOWN, Wis. – The softball team continued its late season success on Friday with its second sweep in its last 4 doubleheaders.  This time it came against the Maranatha Baptist Bible College Crusaders.  Rockford would win game one in five innings with a final score of 10-2 and comeback to win game two in extra innings 7-5.

The Regents would use two big innings in the opener to defeat the Crusaders.  With the score tied at 2-2 heading into the top of the fourth inning, Rockford would score two runs to take a lead they would not surrender.  Senior Alyssa Novak (Utica, Ill./LaSalle-Peru) got the Regents started with a one-out single.  She then got herself into scoring position stealing her eighth base in eleven attempts during her senior year.  Novak would later score on a fielder’s choice putting Rockford in front 3-2.  Junior Nicole Lawler (Pearl City, Ill./Pear City) made it a 4-2 Regents lead with an RBI single.  Rockford essentially secured a victory in the opening game one inning later with a six-run fifth.  Following a lead off walk and a stolen base, Jessica Bjerning (Wauconda, Ill./Mundelein) drove in the first run of the inning with a single.  One batter later, Novak continued her hot hitting doubling to put runners on second and third base.  Senior outfielder Bridget Kennedy (Sugar Grove, Ill./Aurora Christian) followed up Novak’s double with her third hit of the day driving in run to increase the lead to four runs.  The Regents added another run on a fielder’s choice before Lawler singled in her second run of the game.  Rockford got yet another run on a sacrifice fly before scoring its final run of the inning on an Alexis Ford (Cortland, Ill./DeKalb) double to win an abbreviated game one 10-2.  

Pitcher Eryn Dougherty (Ottawa, Ill./Marquette) pitched very well in the opener.  The senior tossed her fifth complete game this year and improved her record to 5-4.  Dougherty gave up just five hits and two earned runs over her five innings of work and struck out three Crusaders.  

After a fairly large margin of victory in game one, the Regents would get all they could handle in a tough game two.  The Crusaders came out hitting on all cylinders in the nightcap and take a 4-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning.  Despite falling in an early hole, the Regents stayed composed and slowly chipped away at the lead.  Bridget Kennedy got Rockford on the board driving in team’s first run with an RBI single.  Rockford made it a 4-2 later in the inning scoring the team’s second run on a passed ball.  Two innings later, it would be a three-run top of the sixth inning that gave the Regents a 5-4 advantage.  Jossilyn Jones (Rockford, Ill./Guilford) and Nicole Lawler smashed back-to-back two-out RBI doubles tying the game at 4-4.  One batter later Jennifer Zulkanycz (Norco, Calif./Norco) gave Rockford its first lead of the game driving in Lawler on an RBI single.  However, the Regents were unable to hold the lead giving up a run in the bottom of the sixth.  After a scoreless seventh the Regents and Crusaders would head to extra innings to break the tie.  Rockford got things going early in the eighth with three straight singles including Lawler driving in her fourth run of the doubleheader on an RBI single.  One batter later, Alexis Ford would add an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to center field.   Rockford would hold Maranatha scoreless in the bottom half of the inning to secure the sweep of the doubleheader.

Jennifer Zulkanycz threw her third complete game of the season picking up her second win this year.  The junior gave up five runs, only three of them earned, while striking out a season-high seven batters and walking just one.

The softball team will wrap up its season on Saturday with a trip to Edgewood College.  The two teams will square off in a doubleheader with the first pitched scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

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