By Lindsay Regruto
The women’s softball team started the Kickin’ Chicken Classic with a bang last weekend in Conway, S.C., shutting out James Madison in its first game. However, the Bison were unable to continue the momentum, dropping the remaining games to Coastal Carolina, Saint Joseph’s and James Madison in a second match-up.
The first game of the day on Friday saw the Bison defeat the Dukes of James Madison 4-0. Advancing into scoring position with the help of her teammates, Mallory Lyons ’14 was the first to score on a wild pitch in the second. Sam Rollandi ’11 tripled down the right line in the seventh to give the offense one last push. Elyse Colmenero ’11 and Lauren Fry ’11 walked to load the bases with all three runners scoring by the end of the inning.
The Orange and Blue defense remained strong the entire game led by Alex MacLean ’13, who allowed only two hits and struck out six. MacLean now totals 98 career strikeouts.
“Our first game against James Madison proved to be very exciting,” Alison Ford ’11 said. “We were able to push some key runs across the plate and were able to play solid defense behind a great pitching performance from Alex MacLean.”
Friday’s second game proved a bit harder for the Bison in a match-up against Coastal Carolina. With both teams displaying solid defense, the third inning ended with goose eggs across the board. The Chanticleers were the first to put runs on the board managing three in the top of the fourth with one more following in the sixth. Kathryn Wilkinson ’13 singled up the middle to end the no-hitter. Colmenero followed later with a double down the line for an R.B.I. The Orange and Blue were unable to rally and fell 4-1 at the end of the day.
Saturday opened with the Bison facing Saint Joseph’s, who came out strong, scoring two runs off the bat in the first and two more in the third and fourth. Dickinson singled up the middle in the second in an attempt to jump-start the offense, but the Bison were stopped until the fourth when Caryn Connors ’14 scored after coming in to pinch fun for Ford. With three up and three down in the sixth, the Orange and Blue were able to hold the Hawks at four until the seventh inning when Saint Joseph scored four more runs. The Bison made a comeback in the seventh with four runs of their own but were unable to close the gap, falling 8-5 to the Hawks.
Despite the loss, the Bison had success at the plate individually. Meredith Dickson ’12 had her second career multi-hit game going 2-3 with a run. Lyons went 2-2 at the plate with an R.B.I, and Fry, Alicia Wheeler ’12 and Ford all drove in runs.
“Although there are still things we need to work on, it is exciting to be playing as a senior with the talent and potential that this team has,” Ford said.
The Bison faced a second match-up with Coastal Carolina in their second game on Saturday. It proved to be anybody’s game with zeros across the board going into the top of the fourth until the Chanticleers managed two runs. The Bison held Coastal Carolina at bay with a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. Rollandi and Laura Sandford ’13 had back-to-back singles in the sixth to try and close the deficit, but the Orange and Blue couldn’t bring anyone home and fell 2-0 to the Chanticleers.
The Orange and Blue faced James Madison once again in the last game of the tournament. The Bison defense came out strong with MacLean setting down the first six batters. The Hawks were able to break past the Bison defense by putting a run on the board in the third. The Dukes managed a three-run lead going into the sixth. The game ended with a 4-0 loss for the Bison.
“I think this weekend was a great learning experience for our team,” Colmenero said. “We know what we need to work on and we’ll continue to get more comfortable with each other on the field as the season goes on.”
The Bison will be back on the field this weekend in the Longwood University Tournament in Farmville, Va.