By Molly Rubin
The Ladies’ softball team’s strong performance this season (21-7) has yet to carry over to conference play as their showings against Oberlin and Hiram Colleges have left them 2-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). At Oberlin, the Ladies struggled to get timely hits in the first game leading them on the short end of a 2-3 score. Kenyon, trailing 1-3 at the top of the seventh, was on the verge of a comeback when Jane Ghublikian sliced a single through left field, resulting in a run for the Ladies. Any prospect of tying came to an abrupt halt, however, when Oberlin’s pitcher earned a strikeout, resulting in a Yeowomen victory.
The Ladies saved their hot hands for game two against Oberlin, where the Yeowomen invoked the mercy rule in a 15-6 Ladies win. Maldonado and Stark picked up the morale of the Ladies with two big hits, advancing to a 5-0 lead. The Ladies extended their lead 10-2 off hits from Liz Paterra ’15, Hayley Howard ’15 and Molly O’Connor ’16. A grand slam from Oberlin failed to deter Kenyon as they continued their hitting barrage with a two-run homer from Ghublikian.
The same pattern took hold on Monday against the Terriers (5-13, 2-2 NCAC) — the Ladies lost the first, but redeemed themselves the second time around. While Stark thrived at bat with an impressive 5 for 7, things did not come as easily on the pitcher’s mound as Hiram managed to get off 12 runs.
Stark, however, was the game changer in the second game of the double header, pitching her fourth shutout game of the season and sending four Terriers back to the dugout in frustration. Offensively, the Ladies started the first inning with blazing hot bats, getting hits from Maldonado, Ghublikian and first-year Nicole Horita, providing an immediate 3-2 lead. Lyndsey Susolik continued her hitting streak, accumulating four hits during the day.
In response to the split outcome of both showings, O’Neil stated, “We have to come out ready to play right from the beginning. … We need to take on that mentality of having nothing to lose and then we are really successful.” Stark agreed with this necessary change in mentality, saying, “I think we just have to take it one at a time,” which they will attempt to do against Ohio Wesleyan this Saturday.