NORTH RIVERSIDE – In a number of ways, Saturday’s loss to Nazareth represented the Riverside Brookfield season.
The No. 6 seed Bulldogs fell to No. 3 Nazareth 9-2 in the Class 3A RB regional final at Veterans’ Park.
RB had 10 hits to the Roadrunners’ 11 but couldn’t string them together to provide the necessary scoring punch. Meanwhile, Nazareth jumped out to an early lead with five runs in the first inning.
The defeat snapped a run of five straight regional titles for RB.
Senior Emma Schander was 4-for-4 and sophomore pitcher Katie O’Connell had a pair of hits for RB in the loss.
The Bulldogs advanced to the final after receiving a forfeit win over Hyde Park in the semifinal. RB finished the season 11-21, including a 7-5 mark in the Metro Suburban Conference.
Senior catcher Emily Hastings, a Southern Illinois-Edwardsville commit, led the team with a whopping .593 average with nine home runs and 22 extra base hits. Schander also had a standout season, hitting .495.
Those two seniors, along with Ashlee Haugh, Jasmine Castaneda, Annabelle Gardiner and Allie Parcel, will leave the program.
O’Connell, junior Grace Cody and sophomore Lana Herrmann will be key to next year’s success after all three hit .375 or better this spring. Both pitchers, O’Connell and junior Hayden Claire, will also be back.