Softball Stumbles Against Niagara; Sweeps Army

The softball team finally saw some action against the Purple Eagles of Niagara last Wednesday after postponements forced them to a ten-day rest. Unfortunately, the results were not good. In the first game of the doubleheader, senior Kelsey Nordstrom had her first poor performance of the year, giving up six earned runs in just three and two-thirds innings of work. Purple Eagle batters continued to pound first-year reliever Olivia Whiteman on their way to a 13-1 thrashing of the Raiders. The next game of the day was much closer, but still ended in defeat for the Raiders. Colgate jumped out to a 5-0 lead with single runs in the first, second, and fourth innings and a pair of runs in third. However, Niagara finally got to first-year starter Jesse McCarrick in the top of the fifth, breaking out for six runs in the inning. The Purple Eagles added two more in the sixth and triumphed 8-5.

“Niagara was just an overall tough outing,”Head Coach Vickie Sax said. “We literally sat for 10 days since our Holy Cross series. It’s hard to look your best after that long.”

Colgate’s next outing proved to be much more successful. The Raiders played a four-game set at Army last Friday and Saturday with doubleheaders on each day. The first game was the most exciting of the series. Colgate entered the seventh and final inning down 2-1. Sophomore Vicky Ortengren started off the inning with a double. Fellow sophomore Meg Mylan bunted her over to third. Sophomore Ashley Rowe grounded out, but Ortengren hustled home to tie the game at two. There was no more scoring until the top of the 10th when junior LaPorscha Albert came up. With a runner on first, Albert whacked the ball out of the park to give the Raiders a 4-2 lead. It was Albert’s second home run of the game. Nordstrom, who pitched for the entire game, held the Black Knights scoreless in the bottom of the inning. The senior held Army scoreless for the last four innings of work and struck out eight batters.

The next game of the doubleheader was also close, with Colgate clawing out a 5-4 victory. Colgate led 1-0 in the third when junior Whitney Scott hit a four-bagger with a runner on base to extend the lead to 3-0. Unfortunately, Army scored three in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. In the fifth, Colgate scored two runs, one off Scott’s sacrifice bunt and an RBI single by sophomore Erin Gomez. The Black Knights scored a single run in the seventh and had the bases loaded before reliever first-year Amanda Eccleston got Army’s Mary Ann Kearney to pop up to second base for the final out.

Colgate’s two games against Army on Saturday were a bit less dramatic. In game one, pitching was dominant as Nordstrom, fresh off 10 innings of work the day before, pitched a two-hit shutout. Her performance was nothing short of spectacular.

“Her second day performance did not surprise me,” Sax said. “Adrenaline kicked in for Kelsey and it was obvious that Army was on the defense.That’s a tough way to score.”

On the offensive side, Scott continued her hot streak and hit a solo homerun in the second. First-year Jessica Sabo knocked in the only other run of the day, but the two runs were more than enough to secure the 2-0 win.

It was all Colgate in the second game of the doubleheader. Army held a 1-0 lead going into the fourth inning, but the Raiders scored five runs in the fourth and four in the fifth to jump out to a 9-1 lead. After Army went scoreless in the bottom of the fifth, the mercy rule was invoked and Colgate completed the four-game sweep. Gomez and Sabo combined to knock in five Raiders.

Colgate remains undefeated in Patriot League play with a record of 8-0. The Raiders will play two doubleheaders against Lafayette this Saturday and Sunday at the Eaton Street Complex. Both doubleheaders will start at noon. The upcoming series against the Leopards will go a long way to show if Colgate is indeed one of the Patriot League’s elite teams.