The second round of Class 1A regional softball play frequently features teams that are as hot as they have been at any point in the season.
On Wednesday, that was the case as Newman Catholic, which entered play with 15 wins in its previous 19 outings took on a Rockford team that was riding a six-game winning streak.
Many, including Knights veteran coach Tom Dunn, expected a tight affair, but Newman played arguable its best game of the season and routed the Warriors 12-0 in four innings.
“Rockford is a good team,” Dunn said. “We thought it might go down to the last at bat.”
Newman, though, took control early as the Knights put up seven runs in the second inning.
While the Knights took advantage of four consecutive walks in the inning, the big blows came from Paige Leininger, who had a two-run double, and Leah Martinez, who added a bases-loaded double for three more runs.
The middle of the Newman batting order was on all game as Leininger, who bats second, was 3-for-4 with two doubles and four runs batted in, Macy Alexander was 3-for-3 and Martinez was 3-for-4 with five driven in.
“We are blessed with so many girls who can sting the ball,” Dunn said.
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Hailey Worman added two hits and a run driven in for the Knights.
Leininger faced the minimum number of batters through four innings as she allowed no hits and walked just one.
That runner was caught stealing.
Leininger struck out six.
Rockford closes out its season with a 17-10 overall record.
Newman (21-13) advances to regional semifinal play on Friday where it will face AGWSR at Ackley.
AGWSR (19-6) downed St. Edmond 2-1 on Wednesday.