Softball triumphs Holy Cross in Patriot League opener series

Eleanor Hagan, Staff Writer

The women’s softball team defeated Holy Cross in two of its three games on March 26-27. The Orange and Blue swept the Crusaders in a doubleheader on March 26, and then dropped their final game the next day. Despite this disappointment, the Bison captured the series win.

In their first game, the Bison won 5-3. Dana Nielsen ’16 pitched the entire game for the Bison, and her strong performance was a major contributor to the Bison’s success. The Bison started off slow, trailing 2-1 after the second inning. Meghan Kovac ’18 delivered the game-tying hit that brought Ryanne Rokos ’19 home to bring the score to 2-2. The game remained at this score until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Jacklyn Tyburk ’17, Paulina Gutkin ’18, and Celina Antonellis ’18 all were able to score.

“It was definitely a complete team effort in order to win the series and it’s always exciting to see innings going longer when we are working to string hits together. As long as we keep working together, we’ll definitely see more success,” Maddie Minneci ’18 said.

Later in the day, the Orange and Blue followed up with a dominant 5-1 performance. Kovac led the team with two hits, including a solo home run; she also drove in three runs. Amanda Fazio ’16 dominated at the plate, going three-for-three, while giving up only one run and not walking any batters on the pitcher’s mound. Mariah Midyette ’16, Anna Gimmestad ’19, and Lauren Hadley ’19 all contributed impressive hits as well.

After a dominant doubleheader sweep, the Bison were unable to close and lost their final match-up 5-4. The Orange and Blue set themselves back early on with a three-run deficit.  During the third inning, Fazio  scored and Minneci scored off of a single by Hadley. The Bison battled back to tie the game 4-4, but the Crusaders closed the game with a run in the top of the seventh. The Orange and Blue had ten hits from Kovac, Hadley, Fazio, Gimmestad, Chaylen Andolino ’17, Midyette, and Rokos, but were unable to convert their opportunities and ended up stranding 13 runners on base. The stellar pitching force had some trouble with the Holy Cross lineup; Fazio started four innings for the Bison, and then Nielsen closed the game.

Kovac credited her head coach, Courtnay Foster, with providing helpful advice to guide the team in its successful weekend.

“Something Courtnay talks about all the time is how important grit is and how that will be the thing to get us to a championship,” Kovac said. “We definitely showed beginning signs of this and I’m excited to see it grow stronger.”

After this weekend, the Bison are 16-11 overall and 2-1 in the Patriot League. The team will hit the road to compete in its next Patriot League match-up, scheduled against Lafayette on April 2-3.

 

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