By Malcolm Luck
Following a 1-1 start to the 2019 season, the softball team dropped three of four games at the Salisbury Invitational in Salisbury, Maryland.
The College played four games in a pair of doubleheaders beginning with Salisbury University, ranked No. 17 in the nation, on Saturday, March 9.
The Lions put the first run on the board with a walk from senior outfielder Gaby Bennett.
She eventually came in to score courtesy of a sacrifice fly from sophomore infielder Lauren Conroy, which put her team up early 1-0.
Starting pitcher Alanna Namit struggled to maintain the early lead and coughed up two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
She eventually surrendered two more in the bottom of the third, giving up a two-run home run to the second batter she faced in the inning.
Namit managed to go all six innings, but was ultimately charged with four earned runs while walking seven batters.
The Lions attempted a late comeback in the seventh inning. Down 4-2, the College scratched out a run after a Conroy hit a double down the left field line and reduced the deficit to one run. Following a walk from senior catcher Jess McGuire, junior infielder Annalise Suitovsky lined out to second base to end the game, giving the College a 4-3 loss.
The offense exploded in the second game of the first doubleheader, posting nine runs on eight hits. Salisbury scored the first run of the game in the second inning, but the Lions responded with nine unanswered runs in large part due to a five-run fourth inning.
Following a groundout from sophomore catcher Marissa Devincenzo to start the inning, six consecutive Lions reached base.
By the end of the frame, the Lions had a comfortable 6-1 lead and went on to win with a final score of 9-1.
The second doubleheader was held a day later against the University of Lynchburg, which bested the College in its two games and won by a score of 5-3 in the first leg of the doubleheader and 15-3 in the second game.
In the first game, seven innings were not enough to settle the score –– the game was knotted at two runs each.
Namit bounced back from her rocky start against Salisbury by only giving up one earned run over her first eight innings of work.
Entering the bottom of the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead, courtesy of an RBI groundout from Devincenzo in the top half of the frame, Namit surrendered a game-tying double and a walk-off two-run home run to back-to-back batters to give Lynchburg the 5-3 win in extra innings.
In the second game, the Lions were once again held to three runs and were no match for the Lynchburg offense. Sophomore starting pitcher Eliza Sweet was lit up for eight earned runs in three innings. Junior pitcher Kristen Barrera came in for relief, allowing four earned runs in two innings.
Senior pitcher Sara Bielamowicz followed her and surrendered three runs without recording an out. Ultimately, Lynchburg compiled 15 runs on 19 hits in a weak game for the Lions, sending them home with a 2-4 record through six games.
The Lions will travel to Plant City, Florida for the 2019 Sunkissed Games taking place from Saturday, March 16 to March 22. The first doubleheader is scheduled against Babson College.