By Cooper Mead
Laura Sandford ’13 hit a walk-off single to give the softball team its first Patriot League win of the season against Holy Cross last Friday. The win broke a 13-game losing streak for the Orange and Blue. The Bison took three of four games against the Crusaders over the weekend series to keep their playoff hopes alive.
After the Bison lost the series opener 6-1, the second game initially seemed to be heading the same way. Holy Cross jumped ahead from the beginning, scoring two runs in the top of the first, and took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning.
Alex Wells ’15 got things going for the Bison with a lead-off single up the middle. She was replaced on the bases by pinch runner Kasey Segiel ’14 who eventually scored on a Mary Horton ’13 triple. Meredith Dickson ’12 then hit Horton in with a single up the middle to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
In the ninth inning, Cydnee Sanders ’15 doubled to right-center field and the Crusaders intentionally walked Horton, who was two-for-three with two runs and an RBI on the day. Dickson loaded the bases with a bouncing single, which brought up Sandford, whose single gave the Bison a 4-3 win. Sandford completed the game two-for-five with two RBIs.
The victory, in addition to ending the consecutive games lost streak, ended a 14-game conference losing streak that began last season.
“Our defense was solid, pitching was great and our hitting was on point,” Courtney Conover ’14 said. “These games definitely boosted the team morale going into next weekend.”
The Bison win was aided by Bridget Gates who began pitching in the third inning and completed 6.1 innings allowing only one hit and no runs. She also struck out three batters and did not allow a walk.
On Saturday, the Bison defeated the Crusaders 4-2 and 3-2 and brought their record to 9-32 overall and 3-13 in the Patriot League. In the first game, the Bison pulled ahead in the first inning, but the Crusaders came storming back in the top of the second with a two-run home run from Nicole Ortiz. Later in the second inning, Nikki Silva ’15 scored an unearned run for the Bison. Tori Robinson ’15 then hit a triple in the fourth inning and later scored.
In the final game of the series, Mallory Lyons ’14 hit a line drive down the left-field line with Horton on third in the eighth inning, giving the Bison another walk-off win.
Colie Escobar ’15 had a phenomenal series for the Bison, going four-for-six (.667) and scoring two runs in three games. Sandford also hit eight-for-15 (.533) with one run and two RBIs. Dickson, who was recognized for Senior Day, hit .400 in her final weekend at home.
“Our team had a wonderful weekend. It was my final time playing on our field. We had two exciting extra-inning wins in which multiple players contributed. Our defense was phenomenal, making some of the ‘special’ plays. Our YOLO attitude finally showed through,” Dickson said.
The victories gave the Bison three consecutive wins for the first time this season. The team hopes to bring its momentum to Easton, Pa. as it takes on the Lafayette Leopards on in a four-game series this weekend.