ROCKFORD, Illinois – The MSOE softball team continues its hot hitting with 34 runs on 35 hits in a doubleheader sweep of Rockford Friday afternoon at Smith Athletic Field.
The Raiders (23-11, 10-8 NACC) defeated the Regents (4-32, 0-20 NACC) 14-4 in six innings in game one and 20-0 in five innings in game two. They have now won seven-straight games, including each of the last five via the run rule.
Sophomore Amanda Manssen had a tremendous day at the plate, reaching base eight times with six hits and two walks. She scored six runs and drove in seven.
MSOE got the day off to a modest start, opening the scoring in game one with a single run in the second inning and two more in the third. The Red & White then broke open the game with a six-run fourth inning. The first seven hitters reached and 10 players came to the plate as the team opened a 9-0 lead.
Rockford kept the Raiders off the board in the fifth inning and struck for four unearned runs in the bottom half of the frame to get back in the game. After a lead-off error, MSOE retired the next two hitters before the rally.
The Red & White then put the game out of reach with a five-run sixth inning to take an insurmountable 10-run lead.
Freshman Lorrin Pondo (12-9) got the start in the circle and allowed just one hit in 4.0 innings. It was the lone base runner she allowed in the game and she struck out six. Senior Sara McConnell faced the final four batters of the game and struck them all out.
Junior Rachel Ziemba and sophomore Riley Rossbach had three hits and drove in three runs each. Junior Emily Snow was one of three more players with two hits, adding three RBIs of her own. Manssen was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, three runs scored, and two RBIs.
In game two, the Raiders scored in all five innings, though led just 4-0 after three innings. They turned the game into a rout when they scored 14 times in the fourth inning. The Red & White batted around twice in the frame with 19 hitters coming to the plate. The first 10 batters reached safely, including eight hits.
Another two runs in the fifth inning capped the scoring.
Junior Liz Gale (6-0) and McConnell combined on a two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts. Gale started and went 3.0 innings with three strikeouts while McConnell tallied four more Ks in 2.0 innings of work.
Manssen was even better in game two with a pair of doubles and a triple as part of a 4-for-5 effort. She came in to score three more times and finished with five RBIs. Snow had a three-hit game and four runs scored. Five more players collected two hits each, including junior Emma Megal, who scored three times, and Pondo and sophomore Kiki Davis, who scored twice each.
Nearly lost in the offensive barrage were a handful of school records broken. Ziemba hit her 14th career triple in game one, breaking the program mark she tied Wednesday (Mindi Eineichner). It was also her sixth of the season, tied for the most by a Raider (Beth Utke, 1999). Her two stolen bases in the opener gave her 19 for the season, breaking Theresa Smirler's (1997) standard.
Snow had seven bases on the day via a pair of doubles and five singles. That gives her 233 total bases for her career, breaking Julie Windish's program record.
With the wins and other results around the league, MSOE moved into a tie for fifth place in the NACC standings. With a tiebreaker in hand over WLC, the Red & White is currently in the No. 5 seed with four games remaining.
The Raiders return to action Saturday, hosting Edgewood.