By Richard Pera | Staff Writer
It was not the road trip the Kenyon softball team had envisioned.
In their North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) opener, the Ladies dropped two games to DePauw University on Sunday afternoon, getting blanked 4-0 and 3-0. Kenyon mustered just nine hits through 14 innings. But that statistic does not reflect the Ladies’ missed opportunities: the team left 18 runners stranded, nine in each contest.
“We’re obviously not happy with what happened at DePauw,” second baseman Molly Goolman ’14 said. “This team has worked too hard to lose games like that. I think we talk a lot about our approach at the plate, and it just didn’t come together for us, especially at the batter’s box.”
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the first two innings of game one, and added two more runs in the fifth. Only two Ladies registered hits: third baseman Lindsey Susolik ’16 and first baseman Chelsea Delaney ’15. Designated hitter Molly O’Connor ’16 drew two walks. Despite getting runners aboard, Kenyon batters failed to claim a single RBI.
The second game followed a similar script. DePauw jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a Kenyon throwing error. The Tigers added another run in the third inning.
Five Ladies tallied hits, but, once again, no base runners crossed home plate. Frustration reached a peak in the day’s final frame. Kenyon loaded the bases down 3-0, but Delaney popped out to third base to end the game.
The Ladies often talk about “coming through in the clutch,” and the showing on Sunday means that they still have work to do.
“It’s no longer acceptable to be complacent,” Goolman said. “There’s a little bit of a discrepancy between the way we hit in practice and the way we hit in games, and that’s a mental thing. That’s something we’ll be working on this week.”
Despite their offensive woes, Kenyon showed signs of success on defense. The Ladies surrendered a typically manageable seven runs in two games. Maddy Stark ’15 (7-3) gave up nine hits, a walk and four runs in game one, while Sylvie Thomas ’17 (7-3) was masterful throughout game two, holding the Tigers to five hits, four walks and just one run. Despite great efforts, Stark and Thomas were the losing pitchers.
After a strong 12-4 start in Florida over spring break, Kenyon was expecting to make a splash in conference play. The disappointing results in Greencastle, Ind. proved humbling. The Ladies fell to 14-6 (0-2 NCAC), while the Tigers improved to 11-9 (2-0).
But hitting has not been the Ladies’ only aggravation. Twelve of the Ladies’ games have been cancelled or postponed in the last two weeks due to weather. Only one rescheduled series — that against DePauw — has actually been played.
“We’re frustrated,” Goolman said. “We’ve had a lot of games cancelled, but this team is mentally tough and we’ve all played enough softball to know to worry about the things we can control, rather than the things we can’t.”
The Ladies’ home doubleheader against Capital University, originally scheduled for Thursday, has been moved to Sunday afternoon. Kenyon will host Oberlin College for a doubleheader on Saturday, with the first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
Goolman says the team is attempting to take all the schedule changes in stride.
“Don’t worry about the weather, don’t worry about the [umpires],” she said. “Instead, think about what you can control: your energy, your approach, your attitude [and] your confidence.”
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