Lions battle their best, pick up victories

It seems as though the weather gets a little hotter day by day, and so does the softball team. Their last loss came on Saturday, March 23 against Haverford College, but this team has been on fire ever since then, winning four straight. The Lions have torn down their opponents with their superb pitching and offense and have proven to be one of the best all-around teams.

The Lions haven't lost in almost two weeks. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Last Sunday, March 24, the Lions took on Muhlenberg College in a doubleheader, which they dominated completely. The first game began with a lead-off walk to senior outfielder Liz Huttner and a single from senior infielder Kelly Hommen, which led Huttner scoring.

The score was soon 3-0 Lions in the third inning, Hommen also contributed to another one of those runs with a clutch bunt. Unfortunately, a home run by the opponents boosted the score to 3-2.

But the Lions wanted to up that score again. Hommen came in the clutch yet again, as did freshman utility player Deanna Utter after a two-run hit that brought the score to 6-2. Another home run by the Mules tightened the score a bit, but the Lions kept fighting.

The final score was 7-5, with the Lions being able to hold off the Mules at the very end. Freshman pitcher Ashtin Helmer pitched yet another spectacular game, striking out nine and holding the team together with her motivation. The Lions had a total of 12 hits.

In the second game against Muhlenberg, the Lions were warmed up and ready to win again. This time, they shut out their opponents entirely. Freshman pitcher Nicole Hroncich took the mound for the Lions and pitched her first complete game shutout. The Lions’ pitching is really a force to be reckoned with — no opponent even reached third base.

The Lions scored all four runs in the third inning and backed up the stellar pitching with stellar defense on the field. Junior infielder Kristen Lake and freshman outfielder Christine Desiderio each had two hits in this game while there was a total of six hits for the Lions.

Ramapo College was the next victim on the Lions’ list. On Saturday, March 30, the Lions began their NJAC schedule and were victorious in both games.

Ashtin Helmer took the mound for the Lions again in this game, and pitched her third shutout game of the season. She struck-out eight batters in her sixth win of the year.

Hommen delivered her first home run of the season in the second inning as she put the Lions on the board.  Lake and Utter also scored in the same inning, giving the Lions a 3-0 lead.

These two also helped score the final run of the game, giving the College another fantastic shutout.

In the second game against Ramapo, the Lions had to go to extra-innings, but came out with the win. Due to an error, senior infielder Ashley Sogluizzo got on base and Huttner brought her home on a bunt to win the game.

The team feels great at this point in the season, as everyone is getting along and playing to the best of their abilities.

“This is a great group of girls who all have a passion to play and to win, and our friendships both on and off the field really help that to happen,” freshman infielder Jackie Oram said. “Everyone has been contributing to our success, which makes each win really feel like a team win.”

This week, the Lions will take on Richard Stockton College at 3 and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2 and Messiah College at 3 and 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 4.