Softball still in search of first conference victory
Tuesday afternoon blew in a cold, windy loss for Oberlin softball. With a strong first inning, the Yeowomen briefly gave the Allegheny Gators a taste of what was to come in game two. Game one was a triumph for the Gators and a motivator for the Yeowomen.
The Yeowomen managed to load the bases in the first inning of the game. Senior Julia Daher opened the game with a solid cut to right-center, good for a single. Following in Daher’s footsteps, first-year Sophie Simon-Ortiz replicated the same hit. With Daher on second and Simon-Ortiz on first, sophomore Alexandra Plotsky loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice.
Oberlin’s batters were no match for the Gator’s defense, though, which shut the out in game one. As the cold air chilled the players, it showed that the Yeowomen needed the first game to warm up. Game one resulted in 20 runs from the Gators and left some Yeowomen eager to fight back.
“Game two was definitely better. As a pitcher, it makes a world’s difference to have confidence in the defense behind me,” Simon-Ortiz said, adding that game two revived her faith in the team.
Plagued by several unusual injuries, the Yeowomen were down to nine players and ready to win. Inning two of the second game brought the Gators to their knees. First-year Michelle Descheenie advanced to first on a fielder’s choice.
Seconds later, first-year Steele Hearne’s single to center field bumped Descheenie to third. With junior Gen Lehr up to bat, Hearne saw the possibility of loading the bases and successfully stole second.
With suspense filling the air, Lehr singled on a fielder’s choice, running Descheenie to a sliding out at home and advancing Hearne to third. First-year Sarah Johnson singled to center field bringing Hearne home, driving in Oberlin’s first run of the day. Daher steped up to bat and ripped a line drive to center field, bringing Lehr and Johnson home.
With the Yeowomen holding a 4-0 lead, the Gators began to panic. “Every good game comes after a bad game, we just need to buckle down and focus,” Daher said.
Coach Johanna Van der Hulst praised the team for their efforts. “It was long overdue that we started stringing hits back to back and came up with key defensive plays when put under pressure,” Van der Hulst said. Although the Yeowomen put up a good fight, the Gators bit back and mounted a comeback.
The Gators accumulated seven hits and six runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good. With a final score of 9-4, the Yeowomen look forward to the doubleheader against Ohio Wesleyan this Saturday, April 16.
Van der Hulst was proud of the teamwork the Yeo-batters displayed in game two. “Our bats were very hot the second game and our base- running was smart and aggressive. We are starting to play more instinctively rather than second guessing everything and then reacting too late,” Coach Van der Hulst said.
“We played how we know we can play. In the last innings of the game we were in each other’s faces and that’s how we have to be,” said Plotsky, reflecting on the game.
With spirits high, the Yeowomen hope to bring home a win against Ohio Wesleyan this weekend for Senior Day. As the only two seniors on the team, Jaime Johnson and Daher will be recognized and commended before game one.
The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. Saturday as the Yeowomen go for their first
North Coast Athletic Conference win of the season. The Bishops travel to Oberlin
with an 10-10 overall record and a 3-3 NCAC record.The Yeowomen are 2-15 this
season and 0-6 within the conference.