Bison softball goes 1-4 against stiff competition in opening weekend at Tiger Park

Sarah Dimock, Staff Writer

To kick off the 2019 season, the Bison softball team traveled to Louisiana State University Tiger Park to compete in the Tiger Classic from Feb. 8-10. The Bison went 1-4 against top-ranked teams over the course of three days, with their lone victory coming against Tulsa.

 

Coming into the weekend, the Bison were voted second in the Patriot League preseason poll, tying with Lehigh and sitting behind Boston University. Over the course of the weekend, the Orange and Blue took on Iowa once, Tulsa twice, and host LSU twice. This proved to be a tough line-up for the Bison, as Tulsa has been the defending American Athletic Conference (AAC) Champion for the past three years.

In game one of the Tiger Classic on Feb. 8, the Orange and Blue dropped the season opener 5-3 against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Despite the Hawkeyes’ Second-Team All-Big Ten pitcher striking out 14 of the Bison hitters, the team chipped away with hits from seven different players. Ultimately, the Hawkeyes broke the 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh with two runs. Raeanne Geffert ’20 pitched all seven innings, giving up five runs, three of which were earned.

 

In the second game of the day, the Bison turned things around with a big 4-2 win against Tulsa in the first of two games against the Golden Hurricane. The Bison tallied three runs in the bottom of the third. Allyse Volpe ’22 scored the tying run, followed by Jess Hom ’21 and Anna Gimmestad ’19 to take the two-run lead. Pitcher Lauren Lichtenwalner ’20 conceded nine hits, but only gave up runs in the first inning to lead the team to victory.

 

On day two, the Orange and Blue fell to a 1-3 record. The day kicked off with a 0-1 loss to Tulsa. Geffert pitched a one-run game, which Tulsa recorded in the first inning. Despite the strong pitching performance, the Bison offense struggled and only collected six singles, two of which were from Lauren Hadley ’19.

 

In the second game of the day against No. 10 LSU, the Orange and Blue held their own for the first three innings. Lichtenwalner gave up only one run until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Tigers rallied nine runs for the 10-0 finish. The LSU pitcher struck out six Bison hitters, giving up two hits – a single to Hom and a double to Taylor Wolfgang ’21.

 

The Bison ended on Feb. 10 in another matchup against the Tigers, this time losing 0-8. The nationally ranked opponent swept the classic with six wins, including this victory against the Orange and Blue. Volpe, Hom, and Halie Mariano ’20 all hit singles, with Hom being the Bison’s top hitter for the weekend with a .385 batting average.

 

“It was so fun being out there on the field again. It was a tough weekend, but it was an opportunity to get the kinks out, which got us even more excited to compete,” Julienne Egofske ’20 said.

 

After a weekend off, the Bison will next head to Lynchburg, Va. for the Liberty Softball Challenge on Feb. 22-24.

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