Shannon Long's three-run home run provided the go-ahead runs in the top of the fifth inning, and the Sterling Golden Warriors won their conference opener 5-2 in Ottawa on Tuesday.
Long's blast erased a 2-1 deficit, and Lexy Staples made it stand up. The freshman pitched out of three jams throughout the game, allowing two earned runs and four hits while striking out five and walking three.
Erin Stroup added an RBI and Karlie Mellott matched Long's two-hit performance. Those two also scored on Long's homer.
Dixon 7, Princeton 1: Erin Smith struck out 11 in a complete-game victory, and also added a single, triple and three RBIs to lead the Duchesses to a win at home.
Jessica VanOosten drove in two runs for Dixon, while Smith (2-2) allowed six hits without a walk. Brooke Bailey and Haley Fitzsimmons also had RBIs for the Duchesses.
Rock Falls 4, Winnebago 0: Michaela Ward added a shutout to her season from the circle, and maintained a perfect 4-0 record as the Rockets improved to 4-1 on the season with a Big Northern West road win.
Ward surrendered only one hit and a pair of walks while striking out 11.
Offensively for the Rockets, Jenny Lawson drove in two runs on a double in the fourth inning, while Kaylyn Booker and Destinee Schumacher also added an RBI apiece.
Oregon 13, Lutheran 3, 5 inn.: Sommer Rhea tripled and drove in three runs as the Hawks beat the Crusaders at Oregon Park West.
Ally Bartling had a double and two stolen bases, and she was the winning pitcher. Bartling allowed nine hits, three earned runs, while striking out two and walking one. Bre Bicksler had three hits and an RBI.
Abby Woollacott took the loss for Lutheran. She also had two hits, including a double.
Rockridge 6, Fulton 4: Jamie Huennekens scored twice, but the Steamers lost a Three Rivers crossover game to the Rockets on the road.
Jenna Jones drove in two runs for the Steamers.
AFC 7, Durand 6, 11 inn.: Lea Koning had four hits, and the Raiders outlasted the Bulldogs in Ashton.
Bekki Matson and Hope Friday both drove in two runs. Cassidy Koning pitched all 11 innings, allowing 12 hits and six runs, but none earned. She also had nine strikeouts and six walks.
Hailey Smith took the loss for Durand.
Milledgeville 5, Orangeville 1: Morgan Adolph struck out eight without a walk in a two-hitter, and she also had a pair of hits in the Missiles' NUIC East win at home.
Courtney Swalve drove in two runs for Milledgeville, which also got RBIs from Kayleigh Leddy and Brey Henson. Tori Clark drove in the lone run for the Broncos.
Forreston-Polo 5, South Beloit 1: The Cardinals put away a close NUIC East game with a four-run sixth inning in German Valley.
Leading 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Forreston-Polo (5-1, 1-1) put together a two-out rally. Abby Peterson singled home Paige Peterson, then Destiny Darmon knocked in Aubrey Ingram. Jess Slater then plated Abby Peterson and Darmon with her third base hit of the game.
Abby Peterson (3-1) also had an RBI in the second inning, and tossed a four-hitter for the win in the circle.
Eastland 11, Lena-Winslow 8: Paige Gallentine had three hits, including a double, and a pair of RBIs to help lift the Cougars to an NUIC West win on the road.
Drew Preston, Bailey Heckman, and Sammy Sohl also had two RBIs each for Eastland (3-3, 3-0). Bubby Doubler struck out five and walked six, allowing six hits for the win, and Makenzie Fink picked up her first save of the season.
Pearl City 13, West Carroll 0: The Thunder suffered a lopsided NUIC West loss on the road.
Abby Maike allowed three earned runs, six hits and seven walks for West Carroll (4-8, 3-2)
Pearl City scored six runs in the bottom of the third to seize control of the game, and matched that again in the fourth, to give the Wolves the run-rule victory.
Shannon Long, Sterling, go-ahead 3-run HR
Erin Smith, Dixon, CG, 11 Ks; 2 hits, 3B, 3 RBIs
Michaela Ward, RF, 1-hitter, 11 Ks
Sommer Rhea, Oregon, 3B, 3 RBIs
Morgan Adolph, M'ville, 2-hitter, 8 Ks; 2 hits
Paige Gallentine, Eastland, 3 hits, 2B, 2 RBIs