This year marked history in the making as Southwestern University embarked on its first ever season of softball in the school’s 150 years of athletic competition. With this being the team’s first year, the team is comprised largely of freshman. Yet, despite this, the Southwestern women’s softball team has taken the SCAC by storm. As Coach Froboese said in the beginning of the season, “We are going to be a lineup that will be hard to stop.”
This last Saturday, the women’s softball team proved their coach right and humiliated despised rival Trinity University, asserting themselves as the team to beat in the SCAC. Fueled by a constant barrage of hits, Southwestern was able to win both games in a double header and gain sole possession of first place in the SCAC. With their victories, the lady Pirates have moved to 18-14 overall and 8-3 in the conference action.
After splitting the previous day’s games with Trinity, Southwestern came out in a fury. In game one, Trinity scored first in the second inning after a hit brought in a runner who narrowly escaped the tag by first year catcher Bre Lewis. With runners at first and second and no outs, Trinity looked poised for a big inning, but Southwestern held them at bay with stingy defensive work. The Pirates picked off a runner at second base and ended the inning with a double play.
The Pirates responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the second. First year pitcher Kaitlyn Pavlicek hit a single to left field to lead off the inning and was eventually moved to third base on a pair of infield grounders. With two outs, first year Taylor Turpin came up with a big hit to bring in Pavlicek and tie the game. Despite their good play, Southwestern then dug themselves into a hole, allowing Trinity to post two more runs in the third due to SU errors.
In the fourth, the ladies got back to work at the plate, taking control of the game. The Pirates loaded the bases multiple times, executed stolen bases, and scored on a wild pitch in an exciting inning to find themselves 6-3. Yet, the Tigers fought back and regained the lead in the fifth, relying on four singles, one triple, and more costly Pirate errors to go up 8-6. First year Lyndsy Maus came in relief for Pavlicek and closed out the inning.
The Pirates then closed in on the Tigers by scoring one run with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, Trinity pushed back and scored one in response to go back up by two, 9-7. Southwestern continued its hitting display, evening it up again on a double by Pavlicek. Pavlicek later scored, giving Southwestern the 10-9 lead. Southwestern closed out the game with some tough defense in the clutch, gaining a victory in a close, hard fought game.
In the second game, the Pirate’s utilized their defense and pitching. The Pirates also brought their bats back out, and lead Trinity 4-0 after two innings. The ladies continued to push their lead, scoring three runs in the fourth, and two more across in the sixth to force the 9-1 run rule and gain a victory.
Maus pitched a fantastic game for Southwestern to improve to 8-8 on the season. She allowed only one run and four hits while striking out three and walking none. Pavlicek, Wallace and Ambrose each had multi-hit games for Southwestern. As Bre Lewis said “Today, our play we proved we deserve to be where we are at. This team not only has a desire to be the first team to play here, we want to be the first team to win here.”