The Messiah College softball team came to the College Wednesday riding a seven-game winning streak. After a double header with the Lions softball team, they left with a two-game losing streak.
In game one of the doubleheader, the Lions jumped out to an early lead when senior outfielder Crystal Lee scored after reaching on a walk. The Lions solidified their lead late in the game, scoring four runs in the last two innings.
Senior Lauren Fitzsimmons commanded the game on the mound, striking out five while holding Messiah scoreless through seven innings. Fitzsimmons improved her record to 7-2 on the hill. Lee went one-for-two at the plate with a triple, two walks, and two stolen bases.
The Lions exploded offensively in the second game of the series, winning with a decisive 10-2 final score. Junior second basemen Ashley Sogluizzo had a big day, going two-for-three at the plate with a double and a home run, along with a run and three RBI. Sogluizzo attributed her success at the dish to the hard work she’s been putting in at practice.
“I made a couple small adjustments with my coach and they seem to be working out pretty well,” she said. “Now I feel very confident at the plate.”
Lee continued her stellar season, going four-for-four with a triple and three stolen bases and junior rightfielder Michelle Casale chipped in with two hits, two runs batted in, and a stolen base. Sophomore Alex Carisone got the job done on the mound, pitching five innings and allowing only two runs in the win.
On Sunday conference play began. The Lions were only able to squeeze in the first game of their doubleheader with Rutgers University-Newark before the skies opened up, but the Lions continued their winning ways with a big 11-0 win, taking their streak to three games. Fitzsimmons hurled another shutout, striking out five batters in five innings.
“I have an aggressive approach on the mound,” Fitzsimmons said. “(Senior catcher) Michelle Kent and I call the game together so we have really been working together in order to figure out hitters’ strengths and weaknesses and attack them with our strengths. She has a key role in the approach that is taken on the mound.”
Junior center fielder Liz Huttner led the offensive assault, going three-for-four with two runs scored and three RBI. Sogluizzo and senior designated hitter Nicole Broadbeck also chipped in two hits each.
“Every NJAC game we play is going to be tough. They are all very good hitting teams so all of our upcoming games will be challenging,” Fitzsimmons said. “We have played many tough teams in the preseason so I feel that we are extremely prepared for these games, we just have to keep doing what we have been doing offensively and defensively.”
The softball team will continue its run of New Jersey Athletic Conference games when it play its next two games in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 3 at Rutgers University-Camden.