On a picture-perfect night for softball, Oregon’s Lady Hawks couldn’t find the offensive punch when they really needed it and had too many defensive miscues when it really counted, falling to Rock Falls 8-4.
Under sunny skies and game-time temaps in the high 70s, seniors Hope Smith and Bree Tourtillott went 4-4 and 2-4 respectively in their last regular home game of the season.
“We just couldn’t push the runners across when we had to,” said Oregon coach Lindsay Nauman. “Hope was 4-4 tonight and Bree was 2-4. The weather was perfect for senior night.”
Trailing 1-0, Smith got her bat going in the first inning with a solid double to left centerfield, but was stranded when her teammates failed to advance her.
Rock Falls connected on a couple of hits in the next inning and throwing miscues from Oregon resulted in a 5-0 deficit for the Lady Hawks.
Tourtillott nailed a hot shot to center field and Abby Baker followed with a seeing-eye single to put runners at second and third for Smith with 2 outs in the third.
Smith put Oregon on the scoreboard when she cranked a double to left to make it 5-2.
In the fourth inning, Emma Crandall singled and Kasey Lapp beat out infield hit to give Oregon runners at first and second with no outs.
But two Oregon runners struck out and another popped out to leave Crandall and Lapp stranded on the bases.
In the bottom of the fifth, Tourtillott singled, Baker flew out to left field, but Smith singled to advance Tourtillott to second. But the next two Oregon batters struck out and the score remained 5-2 going into the sixth.
Rock Falls scored an inside-the-park home run on two errors and added 2 more runs to make it 8-2.
In the next inning, Baker had a solid hit up the middle to score Oltmanns and Smith singled to score Baker. But the next 2 batters could not connect, making the final 8-4.
Oregon (10-11) hosts Stockton-Warren in regional action next Monday. The winner of that game plays Byron on Tuesday.
“We split with Byron during the regular season,” said Nauman. “We lost the first game 14-13 and we won the second game 8-7—both in the bottom of the seventh.”