Softball team falls to rival Rock Valley College

Clarion Staff Report

After losing both games of an April 10 doubleheader against Rock Valley College, the Madison College softball team now stands one game back in the battle for the North Central Community College Conference title.

Rock Valley leads the chase with a 9-1 record, while Madison College stands at 10-2. Madison College beat Rock Valley earlier this year, but fell 6-0 and 5-3 in the most recent games.

In both of those games, the WolfPack stayed within striking distance until giving up some late inning runs.

Rock Valley took a 2-0 lead in the third inning after a pair of Madison College errors. Madison College had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning, but left bases loaded.

The game stayed close until the top of the seventh, when Rock Valley struck for four runs on four hits and a walk to put the game away.

The second game again saw Rock Valley strike for two runs in the third inning. Madison College cut the lead to 2-1 as Paige Cornelissen tripled and scored on an error.

But Rock Valley secured the win with two runs in the sixth inning and one in the seventh that allowed the Golden Eagles to survive despite a two-run outburst by the WolfPack in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The big difference in the two games was the number of runners Madison College left on base. Madison College left bases loaded in two innings in the two games, stranding nine runners in the first game and 12 runners in the second game.

Rock Valley is ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division III and has won the last four conference titles.

Return to the win column

Scoring runs wasn’t a problem for Madison College in its next two games. The WolfPack pounded the College of DuPage, 11-1 and 10-0, in a pair of run-rule, 5-inning victories on April 11.

Claire Brzenk led the way in the first game with three hits and three RBIs, including two doubles. Paige Cornelissen led the way in the second game with three hits and three RBIs, including a triple. Madison College collected 23 hits in the doubleheader.

The WolfPack’s overall record is now 24-7. After an April 17 doubleheader against Triton College, the team will travel to Harper College for a pair of games on April 19.

Statistical leaders

Nicole Ferch leads the team in batting average at .545, while Sam Schloegl leads the team with 32 hits. Hannah Grahl leads the team in RBIs with 23 and has hit a team-high seven doubles.

Pitchers Alli Walker and Mackenzie Terrill both have earned six wins this season. Walker leads the team in earned-run average at 1.80 runs a game and strikeouts at 69.