Section: Sports

Despite strong pitching performances, Ladies swept again

After a promising start to their week and North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) portion of their schedule with two wins over Oberlin College on Saturday, Ladies softballs performance fell back to earth. The Ladies have lost four straight games, including a sweep at the hands of the Denison University Big Red last night. With six games left on the Ladies’ season schedule before the NCAC postseason tournament, every game is critical from this point on.

Lauren Graf ’20 steps into a swing.

Last night, the Ladies were swept in their afternoon doubleheader at home against the Big Red by scores of 9-1 and 3-2. In the first game, the Ladies sent left hander Austen Whibley ’19 to the mound for her 17th start on the hill of the season. Despite an Earned Run Average in the high sixes entering Wednesday’s start, Whibley has been the model of consistency when it comes to working deep into games and taking the mound on such a consistent basis. This is a quality that Whibley is happy to have.

“Being able to pitch as much as I do is something I am very proud of,” Whibley said on Wednesday prior to her start. “One thing that Coach and I work on a lot is to be efficient and make sure that I can go as deep as possible without getting tired. Although it is a lot of work and sometimes mentally draining, if it gives us a win I am always happy with that.”

Despite the inflated final score, Whibley delivered on the rubber. Although she allowed nine runs, only one of those runs was earned because of four errors made behind her. Whibley ended up throwing her 12th complete game of the season, and extended her innings pitched total to 92 on the season. Whibley, however, did not have enough support behind her defensively and offensively. In addition to the four errors committed that led to eight unearned runs, the Ladies were only able to muster up one run offensively: an RBI double by shortstop Amanda Coyle ’18 in the fifth inning that scored catcher Nicole Horita ’18.

The Ladies benefited from another strong pitching performance in the second game of the doubleheader, this time from Keely Sweet ’20. Sweet also threw a complete game while allowing just one earned run, but the defense made two costly errors that led to two unearned runs. These unearned runs ultimately cost the Ladies the game. The Ladies had jumped out early in the first inning on an RBI single from first baseman Grace Pilz ’19. But then the Big Red battled back, scoring two runs on the top of the fifth and another in the top of the sixth to secure their second straight victory.

The Ladies will next play on Saturday afternoon, when they will travel to Wooster, Ohio to take on the the College of Wooster in another doubleheader. The first game will begin at 1 p.m.

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