Section: Softball

Softball drops pair of NCAC doubleheaders on the road

The Kenyon softball team opened conference play with a pair of road doubleheaders. After falling to the DePauw University Tigers, the Owls dropped both games to the College of Wooster Fighting Scots, bringing their record to 13-13 (0-4 NCAC).

On Saturday, Kenyon headed west to Greencastle, Indiana, to take on DePauw. Going into the doubleheader, the Tigers had won the past 11 matchups between the two teams, and DePauw continued its dominance in game one. After Kylie Hamm ’27 and the rest of the Kenyon defense had gotten two outs in the bottom of the first inning, a double and a home run gave DePauw a 2-0 lead. In the top of the second, the Owls looked poised to respond, as Keala Montgomery ’27, Brooke Avila ’27 and Maddie Friday ’24 each hit singles to open the inning. Unfortunately, the Tigers’ strong defense kept any runs from scoring, and DePauw added on three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Though Ari Jalomo ’26 and Maddie Buckwalter ’26 each singled in the third, DePauw’s defense stood tall. The Tigers put up three more runs in the bottom of the inning, each coming across the plate with two outs. Kenyon couldn’t muster much more offense, and the Owls fell 8-0 in a five-inning run (mercy) rule defeat.

In game two, DePauw picked up right where it left off in the opener, taking a 1-0 lead with a two-out home run in the bottom of the first inning. The Owls’ offense struggled again, while the Tigers continued to take advantage of strong baserunning and clutch two-out hitting. Leading 3-0 heading into the third inning, DePauw stole five bases in the frame, while also doubling its lead. After Kenyon stranded Sophia Lynch ’25 on base in the top of the fourth, DePauw tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the inning. The Owls went down in order in the fifth inning to secure the 9-0 run (mercy) rule win for the Tigers.

For game two starting pitcher Amanda Harris ’25, the losses to DePauw can teach Kenyon valuable lessons about the value of a small-ball philosophy on offense. “[It] showed us that we can score a lot of runs without getting huge hits or even hits at all,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “DePauw was just very smart around the bases and it taught us that we need to be paying more attention when we are in the field, but it also showed us that maybe we could do that while we are on the bases too because it’s clearly effective.”

After the threat of rain in the forecast moved their games a day earlier, the Owls returned to the diamond on Tuesday against the Fighting Scots. Wooster took a 2-0 lead after two innings, taking advantage of Kenyon errors and wild pitches to build its advantage. After a scoreless third inning for both squads, the Owls answered back in the top of the fourth. With just one out and runners on the corners, Avila and Maeve McLaughlin ’26 hit back-to-back singles to tie the game at 2-2. Unfortunately for Kenyon, Wooster’s offense came back with a vengeance in the home half of the inning. The Fighting Scots poured on 10 runs on eight hits, including a grand slam. Kenyon went down in order in the top of the fifth inning and fell 12-2.

Game two was scoreless heading into the bottom of the second inning, when Wooster took advantage of a pair of Kenyon errors to load the bases. An RBI double gave the Fighting Scots a 2-0 lead, which they would not surrender for the rest of the game. Wooster tacked on another run with a two-out RBI single. Kenyon got a run back when McLaughlin scored after a fielding error, but the Owls were unable to stage a comeback and lost by a final score of 6-1.

Kenyon will return to Gambier on Sunday to face off against Oberlin College. Harris believes that the Owls’ success lies entirely in their own control. “We need to not let the numbers and statistics get too wrapped up in our heads,” she said. “We need to understand that all of these teams are great teams, and we need to learn each team’s weaknesses and use that against them, rather than taking the same approach to beat all of them. There’s a lot of pride in ‘playing your own game’ every game, but I think that if we really want to end the season with a bang and make it to the tournament, we need to learn to adapt to each team.”

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