Bison Softball goes 0-4 in Green & Gold Classic

Lea Tarzy, Contributing Writer

The Orange and Blue softball had a tough opening season schedule, facing off against Notre Dame and UNC Charlotte this past weekend. The Bison women matched up against these two teams on Friday, Feb. 11, and faced them each again on Saturday, Feb. 12.

In game one, the Bison went up against Notre Dame and fell 9-1 to the Fighting Irish. A first-inning grand slam gave the Fighting Irish an early lead; with only one out in the first inning, the bases were loaded when the Notre Dame player stepped up and hit a home run that gave her team a 4-0 lead. The Bison responded quickly, retiring the next two batters immediately after. However, the Fighting Irish continued to dominate, scoring runs in the second, third, and fourth innings. Chase Knapp ’23 notably hit her fourth career home run in the top of the third inning to put the Bison on the scoreboard. The Fighting Irish continued to lead, ending with a final score of 9-1 in their favor.

Later on Friday, the Bison squared off again, this time going up against UNC Charlotte. Three pitchers saw action in this game, but unfortunately, their efforts were not enough to head off the 49ers. UNC Charlotte dominated the game handily, scoring 16 hits while holding the Orange and Blue women to zero. Madison Roukey ’25 started the game at pitcher and posted two strikeouts in the first innings. However, Hunter Vestal ’24 was put in for her after Roukey allowed five out of nine earned runs that were scored during her 1.2 innings in the circle. Olivia Marinelli ’23 took over for Vestal after just one inning. MaKenzie Hilling ’25 opened the top of the fifth inning and had the Bison’s singular hit of the game with a single. Hilling went on to the second (wild pitch) and then to third (groundout); she nearly made it back to home base and ruined the 49ers’ shutout, but was caught at home on a fielder’s choice. 

On Saturday morning, the Bison women came back strong and scored the first run against the 49ers, who had held them completely scoreless the evening prior. However, the home team came back and scored in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings to triumph 4-1 over the Bison. The Bison women’s scoresheet improved, putting up four hits compared to the single hit against the same team the day prior. Knapp, Zoie Smith ’24, Elena Horn ’25 and Nicole Rivait ’22 each contributed with one hit. Kelly Toomey ’22 pitched five innings for the Bison, including two strikeouts. The Bison women held that 1-0 lead until the 49ers responded with four runs to bring the final score to 4-1 in the favor of UNC Charlotte.

Later in the day, the Bison matched up against Notre Dame for the second time in the two-day tournament. The ACC preseason favorite dominated, scoring a total of 12 runs, and held the Orange and Blue to a shutout throughout. The Bison had five hits, with contributions from Hilling, Smith, Rivait and Kailyn Lorberter ’23. The fifth inning was especially exciting, as the Fighting Irish scored five hits and five runs to drastically increase their lead. 

“It was a tough weekend for us as a team, but I think we are walking away from the games with a lot of knowledge and a lot of things to work on,” Rivait added. “We have to believe that it’s all a part of a big picture, so even though it didn’t work this weekend, we can take it back to practice and work on those negatives and be better every weekend we show up.”

“It’s only up from here,” she added.

“It’s exciting to finally be out on the field and I can’t wait to see what our team has in store for the rest of the season.” Bella Radican ’25 noted.

The Bison women look ahead to their next matchup again on the road in North Carolina next weekend to take on Marist and UNCW. 

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