Softball Struggles on Offense in UNCW Beach Bash

Katherine Harris, Senior Writer

The women’s softball team competed in its second tournament of the season from Feb. 28 to March 2, going 1-4 in the three-day UNCW Beach Bash in Wilmington, N.C.

“This weekend was our first time getting outside on grass so it definitely was a test for the team. Overall, I would say there were exceptional individual performances,” Kristen Zahn ’15 said.

The Bison split their contests on Feb. 28, starting strong with a 12-3 victory against Brown. Pitcher Dana Nielsen ’16 allowed five hits and two earned runs in five innings. On offense, Courtney Conover ’14 and Zahn both had outstanding games, with Conover earning two RBI and one run while going three-for-four and Zahn earning three RBI and two runs while also going three-for-four.

In the second game of the day, the Orange and Blue struggled against a tough UNCG squad, falling 9-6. The opponent’s offense started strong with four runs in the first inning, but the Bison kept the pressure on throughout the game. Cydnee Sanders ’15 and Cheyanna Young ’16 both went three-for-four to bolster the team’s offense. Lara Bean ’17 allowed seven hits and five earned runs in over 4.1 innings, while Nielsen came in for the last 1.2 innings to allow just one hit while striking out two batters.

On the second day of competition, the Bison competed in two close matches. The Orange and Blue offense started off strong in game one against Brown, taking a 5-1 lead by the end of the third inning with the help of a home run by Zahn. After a hard battle for the lead, Mallory Lyons ’14 sent the game to extra innings with a two-RBI single, but the team was unable to close and ended the match with a 10-9 loss.

“I drove in a lot of runs for the team but I couldn’t have done that without Cydnee Sanders and Jacee Almond ’17 getting on base so often,” Zahn said.

The Orange and Blue continued their competitive day against the home team UNCW in the afternoon. Going into the last inning of the game, the opponent held a 3-0 lead, but the Bison offense was posed for a comeback. While they were able to fight back to a 3-2 final score, the team was unable to comeback completely for the lead. Nielsen once again kept the team in the game throughout, recording four strikeouts while allowing only seven hits and two earned runs the entire game.

In their final match of the tournament, the Bison took on UNCG once again in another defensive battle. Nielsen again led the team from the mound, allowing nine hits and four earned runs while striking out five in the game. The Orange and Blue offense was unable to find its groove and though Sanders earned two RBI, the rest of the team was unable to score more, ending the day with a 4-2 loss.

“I think as far as what our team needs to work on is approaching our at-bats with more confidence and aggressiveness in order to make adjustments to the pitcher earlier in the game,” Amanda Fazio ’16 said.

The Bison will next compete in the Rebel Spring Games, a six-day, 10-game tournament starting on March 9.

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