On Monday, the Kenyon softball team opened its NCAC season with a pair of road losses to Oberlin College.
Game one stayed scoreless until the bottom of the second, when Oberlin took advantage of a throwing error to put runners on second and third with no outs. A fielder’s choice RBI plated the first run of the game, and the Yeowomen added two more on another throwing error. Oberlin added another run in the third inning and a pair in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead into the seventh inning. Maddie Friday ’24 broke the shutout in the top of the seventh with a solo home run, her third long ball of the year. Unfortunately, that would be the only offense for Kenyon, and Oberlin came away with the 7-1 win.
Friday believes that the Owls’ struggles to score are not in line with the talent on the team. “We have the power at the plate to succeed, but unfortunately, we have not had the breakthrough moment yet where everything comes together,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We are so close to scoring runs we just need to start adjusting earlier to the pitching we see.”
In game two, Allison McCutchen ’26 got the start for Kenyon. After allowing a sacrifice fly in the first inning, she was sterling through the rest of the six innings. Though they only struck out one batter, McCutchen limited the Yeowomen to just three hits. In an email to the Collegian, she credited Kenyon’s defense for giving her the confidence to pitch well: “I pitched so strongly because I trusted myself and my teammates behind me. I was able to focus on pushing hard and spinning the ball instead of aiming my pitches because I knew that my defense was behind me and [could] deal with anything that they hit.” Unfortunately for Kenyon, the offense could only muster two hits, and the Owls fell 1-0.
Kenyon will have its home opener on Saturday, when the Owls will take on the DePauw University Tigers and celebrate Senior Day. Though the day will be tinged with melancholy, Friday is looking forward to celebrating the team’s seniors. “As the only junior, it will be sad to see this group of seniors graduate, but I am glad we get to celebrate them early on in the season, so it will be a celebration of the season to come rather than the finale of their last season,” she said.
Though the Owls’ record sits at 1-19 (0-2 NCAC), McCutchen is confident that Kenyon has the ability to earn a conference win. “This week, leading up to the games, we just need to focus on the simple things and playing hard,” they said. “If we just hit situationally and put balls in play hard, then we will have opportunities to score.”