By Richard Pera | Staff Writer
In its first competition in nearly a week, the Kenyon softball team split an afternoon doubleheader against Oberlin College on Saturday, April 5 in Gambier. The Ladies took game one, 2-0, while the Yeowomen evened the series in game two, 6-4.
Kenyon got out to a fast start in the first contest, with left fielder Jane Ghublikian ’16 scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the first inning.
The single run proved to be the game-winner. Maddy Stark ’15 struck out seven batters and giving up just five hits en route to her eighth win of the season. Oberlin exhibited strong pitching, conceding only four hits. But the Yeowomen were doomed by their defense; both runs in Kenyon’s 2-0 victory were unearned.
“We were playing as a team,” first baseman Chelsea Delaney ’15 said. “Our defense was really strong and we picked each other up and we played the way we were supposed to play. While our hitting wasn’t great at times, we had key hits that helped us win.”
Game two followed a different script. The Yeowomen eventually figured out pitcher Sylvie Thomas ’17, and offensive flurries in the fourth and fifth innings broke a scoreless tie, giving Oberlin a 4-0 lead. Stark relieved Thomas after the fourth inning.
“It was a little harder [in game two],” Delaney said. “Going in, we were a little overconfident, but our attitude shifted. And that’s what we’ve been trying to work on all season: to have the same attitude going into every game.”
Kenyon fought back in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring two runs to cut the deficit in half. But the visitors took control in the top of the seventh inning, scoring two runs off of Stark. A final rally by the Ladies fell short with the tying run on base.
“It’s really frustrating,” Delaney said. “You want to win and you come up short. But it’s a great lesson to learn, because next time you have to get that clutch hit or play. We should have that mentality in the innings beforehand instead of when our backs are against the wall.”
After enduring 14 cancellations and postponements since returning from Spring Break, the Ladies will enter a gauntlet of 14 games in 10 days, including five conference doubleheaders.
It presents a challenge to Kenyon, which began conference play with a losing record. However, Delaney said that the team understands what is necessary to regain positive results on the diamond.
“It’s going to be a test to see if we have that mental toughness and energy, but also have that passion and drive,” she said. “If we play our game like Kenyon Ladies — the way we’ve been practicing since fall — then I think this weekend and the following weeks are going to turn out really well for us.”
The Ladies split another doubleheader at home against Wittenberg University, winning the first game 1-0 but falling to the Tigers in the second game by a score of 2-10.
They are scheduled to play two games at Otterbein University today and will face Ohio Wesleyan University and Hiram College over the weekend.
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