By: Allie Tingen
The University of Mary Washington softball team faced a tough overall loss to Shenandoah University in a doubleheader on Friday, April 1. The team dropped the first game by a single point with a score of 4-5. The second game came out to a score of 2-8, putting the Eagles at a season record of 16-15.
“I think we worked together well and had great defense. We were doing our best to string together hits and score runs,” said pitcher and junior international relations major Stephanie Folkner.
The Eagles started the first game strong, leading with the first score of the game at the top of the third inning. Freshman mathematics and education major Hannah Steele hit a single while sophomore business major Emma Dickson advanced to second. This gave freshman business major Brigid Ward a chance to score. At the top of the fourth, Dickson hit a double that allowed Ward to score yet again.
But UMW’s streak didn’t stop Shenandoah from making a comeback. The Hornets tied the score 2-2 by the bottom of the sixth inning, with Hannah Maltos and Lily Richichi scoring back to back.
“Our team often struggles once we put a lead on, so once we put some runs on the board we get a little lackadaisical. So if we made an error, it may cause two from people checking out,” said sophomore elementary education major and pitcher, Brooklynne James.
The Eagles took the lead again at the start of the seventh with a hit by senior business administration major Caroline Bird that put Dickson in a place to score. By the bottom of the inning, Shenandoah evened out the score yet again with a play from Aleisha Whipple.
After another score by UMW’s freshman nursing major Rayna Lloyd with a hit by junior marketing major Grace Drury at the start of the eighth inning, Shenandoah pulled through with more runs from Whipple and Richichi, ending the game with a score of 5-4.
“We struggled in stringing together hits and with limiting the number of hits the other team got,” said Folkner.
The Hornets kept their scoring streak in game two, leading 4-0 by the bottom of the second inning. The Eagles scored their first two points of the game at the top of the fifth after freshman biology and pre-veterinary major Nya Lloyd hit a double. This allowed sophomore math and secondary education major Emma Schieda to score. After advancing to third, Lloyd then scored on a wild pitch.
Shenandoah scored four runs in the fifth inning, initiated by Whipple doubling to center field. By the seventh inning, the Hornets prevailed with a score of 2-8.
“Our team has been working on being more selfless on the field, so when we put down many bunts to move the runner it boosted our esteem and put runners in scoring position,” said James.
Despite the loss to Shenandoah, the team is gearing up to make their mark going into conference play.
“Every game has been a battle and presented its own challenges that we’ve had to try and overcome,” said infielder Maggie Mrowka, a senior marketing business administration major.
The first step to preparing for the beginning of the end of their season is practice.
“Our final goals are to continue working together efficiently, string together more hits and perform at the high level we know we’re capable of,” Folkner said. “We’re working towards these goals every day at practice.”
The team has ambitious sights set for the end of their season.
“Our goal is to win the conference championship and get a bid to the NCAA tournament, basically try and play as long as possible into the summer,” said Mrowka.