Steady softball team starts on .500 run

Kennick drives in five runs during the doubleheader against Cortland. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Kennick drives in five runs during the doubleheader against Cortland.
(Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

This past week, the women’s softball team played hard consistently but ended up splitting the week with three wins and three losses. They remain motivated, though, and have a long season with many opportunities to take the lead.

On Monday, March 17, the Lions took on Moravian College in a two-game split, with each team walking away with a victory. In the first game, the College came out on top in a 2-1 win, beginning the season off with a strong performance.

Sophomore pitcher Ashtin Helmer took the mound for the Lions in the season opener and displayed the same dominance she had last year as a freshman. Back and ready to get the season started, Helmer was clutch and her pitching was strong.

Her teammates helped her out by scoring two runs in the second inning. Sophomore right-fielder Kristen Fitzsimmons was able to score on a double by sophomore second baseman Jackie Oram, tying the game at 1-1 after an early-game run from the Greyhounds.

Oram was then able to score on a single by sophomore left-fielder Christine Desiderio. Helmer held off their opponents as she struck out six players total and ended the game with a 2-1 score.

In the second game against Moravian that day, the Greyhounds came back with a vengeance and outscored the Lions 7-4.  After taking an early lead in the first inning, thanks to a single by senior center-fielder Lindsey Williams, the Greyhounds then scored seven consecutive runs.

The Lions then came back in the fifth inning, scoring three runs, but it wasn’t enough to overtake their opponents in the end. Sophomore first baseman Deanna Utter contributed with single to left field and freshman third baseman Jessica Kennick with a double to right.

Sophomore Katie Hourihan and senior Alex Carisone were on the mound for the Lions and pitched a strong game even through all the runs.

On Wednesday, March 19, the Lions took on Muhlenberg College in their third and fourth games of the week, splitting those two as well. In the first game, the Lions fell to the Mules in a 6-0 shutout.  Helmer was on the mound again for the Lions, but the Mules’ defense at the plate was just too strong.

The Lions came close to getting some runs on the board in the third inning when Kristen Lake tripled, but with two outs already in the book, there wasn’t enough time to get her home.

After a two-run homerun and multiple hits, the Mules took over the game and never let the Lions catch back up.

However, in the second game against Muhlenberg that day, the Lions were determined to change things around. With the help of a fantastic pitching performance from Carisone, the Lions turned the tables and shut out the Mules 6-0.

Carisone pitched a complete game shutout, and with the help of an active offense, the Lions dominated. In the fifth inning, the game came alive as the College scored six runs. Senior outfielder Corinne Minicozzi, freshman second baseman Olivia Fahr and multiple other players contributed to the score, giving the Lions the boost they had been searching for the past two games.

In the last two games of the week, the Lions took on SUNY Cortland, in which another split was the result. In the first game, the Lions came out on top in a 3-1 win.  Helmer was unscathed from the tough loss earlier in the week and came out and pitched another gem.

All runs for the Lions were scored in the sixth inning when senior first baseman Nicole Brodbeck began the scoring with a homerun to center field. Kennick then singled and scored freshman outfielder Nery Cerda and Lake.

In the second game, the Lions fought hard all the way through but fell in an 8-6 loss. With their opponents knocking off three homeruns in the third inning, it was a tough feat trying to come back from that.  However, Kennick brought the Lions within striking distance with her own three-run homerun, the first of her career.

In the end, though, Cortland was able to score two runs more than the Lions and the Lions had to settle for another split double-header.

“This year’s team is pretty young,” Helmer said.“We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores starting. There is a lot of talent on the field, and we just need to work together and settle in.”

This week, the Lions will take on DeSales University on Tuesday, March 25, and Ramapo College on Saturday, March 29, at the Softball field.

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