By Miguel Gonzalez
While Dr. June Walker Field was buried under snow, the College’s softball team headed down to Kissimmee, Fla., to compete in the annual Rebel Spring Games at the Osceola Softball Complex. From March 11 to Thursday, March 16, the Lions won six games and dropped two.
After losing a doubleheader against Randolph-Macon College, the Lions started their spring break trip by beating Muskingum University, 4-1, and shutting out Westminister College, 8-0, on March 11.
The fighting Muskies maintained a 1-0 lead until the Lions offense woke up in the top of the fourth inning when junior catcher Jenna Schwartz hit a sacrifice bunt, allowing junior outfielder Madison Levine to reach third base. Levine then tied the game at one off a single from infielder Danielle Carey. The Lions later gained a 3-1 lead on two unearned runs.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Lions added another run to their lead when sophomore outfielder Gaby Bennett landed home off of Carey’s RBI. Junior pitcher Sam Platt later protected the lead as the team secured a 4-1 victory. In the subsequent game, the Lions toppled Westminster College, 8-0, while sophomore pitcher Sara Bielamowicz only gave up two hits in a shutout effort. At the bottom of the third inning, freshman Megan Mayernik blasted a solo shot over the left field fence. The Lions then increased their lead to three when Levine hit a double and drove in a run.
Carey smacked a single to left field two innings later, which allowed senior infielder Colleen Phelan and sophomore infielder Jess McGuire to score and increase their lead to five. The team immediately scored another two runs in the next at-bat.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, sophomore infielder/outfielder Jess Santelli capped off the 8-0 win with double, allowing Mayernik to reach home. The following day, the Lions were edged off 4-3 by the Springfield College Pride in 10 innings. Despite scoring three runs, the team’s offense was held to only two runs from the Pride’s junior pitcher Talia Loda.
“One big thing that could help us improve upon loses like the one against Springfield is adjusting our at bats,” sophomore infielder/outfielder Jess Santelli said. “It took us too long to get acclimated to the Springfield pitcher and our hits weren’t getting strung together like they should. It’s easy to become tired after waking up at 7 a.m. to play a 10 inning game and another right after, but each player has their own way of keeping their energy up.”
Grasping on a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Lions weren’t able to stop the Pride’s bats. With the Pride loading all the bases, junior infielder Kristen Drobiak hit a double to left field, driving in two runners and handing the Lions a 4-3 deficit. In the next game, the Lions rebounded and defeated Lesley University, 9-4. The Lynx rushed a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. With bases loaded, Lynx junior Courtney Goggin launched a grand slam. The Lions quickly responded in the following inning when sophomore outfielder Arielle Couso hit a double and drove Carey to home base. The Lions climbed ahead to a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning and never looked backed. In three consecutive at-bats, McGuire, Santelli and Carey all earned RBI’s. On Tuesday, March 14, the Lions soundly defeated Dubuque University, 9-1, before conceding to Case Western Reserve University, 4-0.
The Lions offense continue to sizzle against the Spartans as they scored every inning and concluded the game in five innings. In the midst, Platt had an outstanding performance on the mound, allowing only one hit.
In the following game, the Lions were shutout by the Case Western Reserve University Spartans. The Lions weren’t able to drive baserunners home. The Spartans took advantage of Bielamowicz’s shaky performance and scored three runs in bottom of the third inning. The Spartans then shielded their 4-0 lead to their win.
In the last day of Rebel Spring games series, the Lions swept a doubleheader against McDaniel College. In the first game, both teams were locked in a tie at 2 until the Lions pulled ahead in the bottom of the third inning. Bennett smacked a single toward center field and drove in Carey and McGuire. The Lions later won the game, 5-2. The Lions then clamped the Green Terror in a 5-1 victory. The team scored five runs in the top of the second inning and preserved its lead to the win.
With a 6-4 start to the season, the Lions are set to play their first home game against DeSales University at Dr. June Walker Field on Wednesday, March 22, at 3 p.m. The team takes on back-to-back doubleheaders at home on Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, at noon against State University of New York-Cortland and Ithaca College.