The Ladies softball team had a mixed week, as they dropped a doubleheader to the Hiram College Terriers on Saturday, before sweeping the Allegheny College Gators in another doubleheader on Tuesday.
Kenyon’s bats were uncharacteristically silent against Hiram, as the Terriers held the Ladies off the scoreboard in both games. In game one, Nicole Bishay ’22 took the mound for Kenyon. Hiram plated five runs in the first inning to put Kenyon in the hole early. The Ladies struggled against Hiram’s Darian Kanno, who worked around two walks in the third inning to keep Kenyon off the board. When the Terriers came to the plate in the home half of the third, they capitalized on hits and errors to make the score 8-0. Two more Hiram runs crossed the plate in the fourth inning, and the Ladies were unable to score in the top of the fifth, leading to an invocation of the mercy rule. Kenyon fell by a final score of 10-0, and Kanno collected a five-inning no-hitter.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Ladies’ offensive woes continued. Though Emily Pater ’22 held Hiram off the board in the first, the Terriers broke through in the second. With the bases loaded, a wild pitch scored one, before a single drove in another run for Hiram. In the top of the third, Pater looked to seize some momentum for the Ladies on the other side of the ball as she roped a single to right field. However, the Terriers were able to turn a double play and keep Kenyon scoreless. Pater’s single would be the Ladies’ only hit of the afternoon, as Hiram took the game by a final score of 7-0. Pater attributed Kenyon’s struggles against the Terriers primarily to their offense. “I think in the Hiram games our biggest issue was our hitting,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “You can’t win games without scoring any runs, even if your defense holds them to 0.”
In their final home games of the season, the Ladies looked to rebound against Allegheny. Pater noted before the game that Kenyon would have to find an offensive and defensive rhythm to defeat the Gators, given the way the previous games shaped up. “Defensively we need to limit our errors and focus on going hard for every ball that is hit,” she said. “I think that in the rest of the season one thing that will really help us finish strong is consistently scoring runs throughout the whole game, not all at once on the front or back end.”
Bishay once again got the start in game one, and her pitching against Allegheny marked a return to her true form. Bishay, who has gone the distance in every game she has pitched this season, hurled a two-hit shutout against the Gators. The Ladies saw contributions on offense from their entire lineup, as Bishay, Emily Buckwalter ’22 and Maddie Friday ’24 all had two-hit games. A two-run third inning gave Kenyon the lead, and Friday tacked on two insurance runs with her fourth- and sixth-inning RBIs. The Ladies took the game by a final score of 4-0.
The second game of the doubleheader looked as if it would also be a tight contest, as the two teams traded runs for the first three innings. Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth, the Ladies’ bats came alive: With two runners on, Friday singled in a run to tie the game, before Grace Finn ’22 drove in the go-ahead run. By the time the Gators recorded the third out of the inning, the Ladies had taken a 9-3 lead. Though Allegheny scored again in the top of the fifth to make the score 9-4, Buckwalter hit a three-run home run to invoke the mercy rule and seal the Ladies’ 12-4 victory.
Kenyon will wrap up their regular season on Saturday when they travel to Greencastle, Ind. to face off against the NCAC-leading No. 6 DePauw University Tigers. The Tigers boast a perfect conference record of 12-0, while the Ladies’ NCAC record sits at 6-8 (24-14 overall). Pater believes Kenyon has all the tools they need to succeed in the matchup. “If our bats don’t go silent and we are able to hold them defensively, I believe we can be successful,” she said.