By Anna Dunlavey
A 1-3 weekend for Ladies Softball hasnt affected their position near the top of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) standings. After a Friday sweep by Otterbein University and a Saturday split with Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU), the team remains tied for second in the conference with a 4-2 record. Head Coach Erin ONeill said the team is in a really good position to keep moving forward and keep staying on top of the conference.
The first game of Fridays home double-header against Otterbein seemed to be going in the Ladies favor. Jamie Samuel 13 and Chelsea Delaney 15 both drove home runs to secure a two-run lead in the first inning. However, that was the only lead the Ladies would hold in that game, with Otterbein scoring three runs in the next two innings. Although Maddy Stark 15 scored on a Samuel single to tie things up, three runs in the fifth inning and one run in the sixth solidified the win for the Cardinals.
The next game started with a five-run lead for Otterbein after the top of the first inning. Four of those runs were unearned the Otterbein players scored because of Kenyon fielding errors. Liz Paterra 15 said a situation like that makes us tense up a little. No one wants to be down in the first inning, but we try to fight and we try to come back.
The Ladies scored two runs in the game but couldnt come back from that deficit. By the fifth inning, Otterbein led 12-2, enough to activate the leagues mercy rule.
At the two games at OWU on Saturday, Kenyon managed only four runs total. The first of the two games was pitcher Starks third shutout of the season, a 4-0 win for the Ladies. Stark also gave up only seven combined hits over the course of the two games, and struck out a total of eight batters. In the second game, only one batter from OWU was able to score while Stark was on the mound, but it was enough for the Battling Bishops to win 1-0.
Defensively, the Ladies were stronger against OWU than they had been against Otterbein. ONeill said the team made all the plays we were supposed to make. Paterra also noted that the team did well in the batters box, despite the low scores.
The scoreboard didnt show how hard we were hitting the ball, she said. We had some great hits, and they were just right at [OWU outfielders].
On Friday, the Ladies will face Hiram College at home. Although Hiram is tied for second-to-last in the conference, they beat Kenyon last year. Saturday, the Ladies will make an important trip to play Allegheny College, the team with which they are currently tied for second place in the conference. Kenyon holds a better overall record, 16-9 compared to Alleghenys 12-13, but both of them have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games.
ONeill and Paterra both expressed confidence going into the next two games. We have to go in there expecting to win, and not accepting anything else, ONeill said. Were preparing one day at a time, Paterra said. Were doing what we know how to do, and I think were contending really well.
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