Section: Softball

Owls head to Myrtle Beach, leave with 8-game win streak

Owls head to Myrtle Beach, leave with 8-game win streak

Hamm won NCAC Pitcher of the Week. | COURTESY OF MARTY FULLER

The Kenyon softball team opened its season over spring break in the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Owls went 10-4, ending the trip on an eight-game win streak.

The Owls got off to a tough start, losing their opening two games of the season to Wilson College (Pa.) and Delaware Valley University (Pa.) on March 3. After falling behind early against Wilson, Kenyon fought back from a 5-1 deficit after the fifth inning. Despite a big game from Maddie Buckwalter ’26, who went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a home run, the Owls ultimately fell 5-4. The game against Delaware Valley was not quite as close, as the Owls dropped the game 9-1. However, Arianna Jalomo ’26 had a strong outing at the plate with two hits and Amanda Harris ’25 pitched well in relief, giving up only one run in 2.1 innings.

The Owls were able to get back on track after the early losses with a huge 8-0 victory over Norwich University (Vt.) on March 4. Maeve McLaughlin ’26 led the charge at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Sophia Lynch ’25 also contributed with two RBIs and Keala Montgomery ’27 knocked in a run as well. Power was aplenty for Kenyon, as McLaughlin, Lynch and Maddie Friday ’24 each hit a double in the contest. Kenyon’s pitching was just as impressive as its hitting, as Harris, Kylie Hamm ’27 and Jillian Messinger ’26 combined for a two-hit shutout. Hamm was able to pick up the first win of her collegiate career. 

The success unfortunately did not last long, as Wilkes University (Pa.) beat Kenyon 8-0 later in the day. The game was much closer than the score suggested, as Wilkes only scored in the first and fifth innings, where it scored four apiece. Other than that, Kenyon could not find its rhythm and was only able to muster up three hits throughout the entire game.

A few days later on March 7, the Owls found their groove again and pulled out a nail-biting 1-0 win over Hilbert College (N.Y.). The game was scoreless into the sixth inning until Buckwalter finally broke the tie with a single that scored Brooke Avila ’27. That was all the Owls needed, and Hamm completed the shutout with eight strikeouts to secure her second victory of the season. The success was short-lived, as Kenyon fell 9-7 to Albion College (Mich.) in the second game of the day. Against the Britons, runs were plentiful; Buckwalter and Montgomery had two RBIs each. Additionally, Jalomo and Natalya Delsante ’25 were major contributors, as they each had two hits. However, the Owls struggled to get Albion players out and the Britons were able to score multiple runs in three separate innings.

The Owls got back on track on March 10, as they beat Dean College (Mass.) 14-6. Jalomo had a huge day, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while McLaughlin drove in three runs. Delsante and Lindsay George ’26 were instrumental as well with two RBIs each. On the mound, Harris pitched 4.1 innings before handing it over to Allison McCutchen ’26 who pitched 1.2 scoreless innings for the win.

The Owls kept the momentum going in their next game against Thiel College (Pa.) later in the day, which they won 2-1. The big hits came from Buckwalter, whose RBI single in the first inning brought in the game’s first run, and Friday, who hit a sacrifice fly that scored Celia Torino ’27 for the game-winning run. Hamm once again pitched a gem, going all seven innings while only giving up a single run.

On March 11, the Owls played a doubleheader against Brevard College (N.C.). In the first game, Kenyon came ready to go and smashed the Tornadoes 10-0. It was Buckwalter who led the way at the plate, collecting three hits and three RBIs in the winning effort. Avila, Fridday and Montgomery contributed as well with two hits each. The pitching was just as good, as Hamm and McCutchen combined for the shutout. The second game was much closer, but the Owls pulled out a resilient 4-3 win in extra innings. It was a back-and-forth affair, with Kenyon taking the lead multiple times throughout the contest and Brevard quickly responding to even the score. With the game tied at three in the bottom of the eighth inning, Montgomery lifted a ball just deep enough into left field to allow Torino to score, giving the Owls the win.

Kenyon played another extra-inning game on March 12, this time against Clarks Summit University (Pa.), which it won 4-3. In the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied at three apiece, Montgomery once again stepped up to put a ball in play. The Defenders made a key error that allowed McLaughlin to come around and score, walking it off for the Owls. Hamm pitched all nine innings of the contest, only giving up two earned runs in the process. The second game of the day came against Albright College (Pa.) and Kenyon was victorious in a 13-12 nailbiter. Buckwalter had another big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Jalomo, Delsante, McLaughlin, Montgomery, Friday and Lynch each had two hits in the winning effort. McLaughlin and Montgomery combined for six RBIs as well.

The Owls built on their winning streak on March 13 with their 9-1 thrashing of the University of Minnesota Morris (Minn.). Friday performed extremely well in the win, going 2-for-2 along with two RBIs. Hamm, who earned NCAC Pitcher of the Week honors for her performance in Myrtle Beach, pitched a complete game and only gave up one run in the process as well. 

In their final game of the trip, Kenyon beat Morrisville State (N.Y.) 10-3 to extend its winning streak to eight games. In the victory, Delsante and Montgomery combined for six hits to help secure the win. Messinger also got in a rhythm on the mound, pitching six innings while only giving up one earned run.

The Owls will look to continue their success on Saturday as they travel to Pittsburgh to face off in a pair of games against Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.). If Kenyon can win those two games, the Owls will tie their longest consecutive win streak since 2020.

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