The College’s softball team returned from Florida boasting an impressive 7-3 record.
The team started its regular season on Sunday, March 4 with a shutout victory over Misericordia University. The Lions jumped on the scoreboard immediately when senior outfielder Crystal Lee led off with a triple and scored on a ground ball to the second baseman. They tacked on three more runs in the third inning and held on with some very strong pitching from senior pitcher Lauren Fitzsimmons who went seven innings and struck out nine, while only walking one batter.
“My mindset is to always find any way possible to make it to the next base,” Lee said. “Whether it is an advance from one of teammates or a stolen base, I’m always thinking I need to beat the throw to the base.” Lee — who hasn’t had a difficult time finding the next base — already has three triples and eight stolen bases in the Lions’ first 10 games.
The Lions picked their game back up the next day winning a pair of games. Fitzsimmons continued her unbelievable work on the mound by posting her second shutout in as many days in a win against Moravian College. She struck out five and walked one in seven scoreless innings. The offense stepped up in their second game of the day, outhitting Simmons College 7-4.
Their roll continued on Wednesday when they beat St. Mary’s 8-0 and Neumann University 9-4. Fitzsimmons continued her dominance, striking out 10 in five scoreless innings against St. Mary’s.
On Friday the Lions were given the opportunity to avenge an earlier loss to Elizabethtown College, and with hot pitcher Fitzsimmons on the hill, they didn’t disappoint. At the end of seven innings, the two teams sat deadlocked at 2-2. In the top of the eigth inning, sophomore Nicole Broadbeck, junior outfielder Liz Huttner, senior catcher Michelle Kent and freshman shortstop Kristen Lake provided some clutch hitting to build the lead to 5-2, and Fitzsimmons shut down Elizabethtown in the bottom of the 8th to finish off the win.
“At the beginning of the week Elizabethtown was our only loss, and luckily we got another chance to face them,” junior infielder Ashley Sogluizzo said. “The second time around everyone was very excited to play. The game ended up going to into extra innings, and we were able to pull through and win as a team.”
After the Elizabethtown win, the Lions went on to drop a rough one 6-1 to John Carroll University, and on their final day in Florida beat SUNY Plattsburgh 4-1 and lost a tight game against Case Western Reserve, 4-3.
The team will resume action on March 17 at Salisbury University in Maryland.