Colgate softball entered their conference schedule on a four-game losing streak, with quite bats and lacking momentum. In short, things weren’t looking up for the Raiders going into their set with Holy Cross. However, with stellar pitching staying constant and some much needed offense, they pulverized the Crusaders in a four-game sweep.
In Game one on Saturday, Colgate received a sterling pitching performance from senior Kelsey Nordstrom. Nordstrom was even more stellar then usual; in fact she had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. The no-hit bid was spoiled in that inning, but Nordstrom finished with an impressive two-hit shutout. The offense was led by sophomore Vicky Ortengren, who put the Raiders up 1-0 in the third with a lead off home-run. Colgate never looked back as Nordstrom stymied Holy Cross’ bats en route to a 3-0 victory.
In the second game of the day, it was the offense that led the Raiders to victory. The Crusaders took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third after Amanda Audette smacked a two-run home-run. The score held up until the sixth inning when the Raiders exploded for four runs. The key hit was sophomore Erin Gomez’s double with the bases loaded that knocked in three runs. Colgate added a seventh run in the last inning, and went on to win the game by a score of 7-3. Though first-year starter Amanda Eccleston struggled, allowing three runs in two and a third innings, first-year Jesse McCarrick delivered a strong effort in relief. She held Holy Cross scoreless for the remainder of the contest, allowing the offense to mount its comeback.
On Sunday, Nordstrom once again got the call, and delivered another fine outing. In fact she pitched another two hit shutout, allowing just one walk, striking out eight, and leading Colgate to a 5-0 victory. For the weekend, Nordstrom allowed just four hits and no runs, which would be superb stats for a single game and is phenomenal over a two-complete game outings on consecutive days.
“I think she was effective because she and sophomore catcher Meg Mylan make a great battery. The two of them have worked hard together to get on the same page,” Head Coach Vickie Sax said.
Not surprisingly Nordstrom was just named Patriot League Player of the Week for the fourth time this season.
The offensive attack was spearheaded by sophomore Kortney Hannah and junior LaPorscha Albert, who each blasted two run homers in the game.
In Sunday’s second game, McCarrick was called upon, coming off her strong relief performance the day before. She came up big again, yielding only one run on six hits. On offense, Colgate took advantage of three Holy Cross errors in the fifth to score three runs and jump out to a 4-1 lead. The Raiders cruised to victory behind McCarrick’s strong pitching, winning by a score of 5-1.
The four victories give Colgate a 4-0 mark to start conference play. Not only did they sweep the series, but they did so in impressive fashion, outscoring Holy Cross 20-4. Their pitching was strong and the Raiders got things going on offense as well, averaging 5 runs a game during the series.
“We mixed up the batting order and decided to try and be more patient at the plate.Be fundamental,” Coach Sax said regarding her offense.
Colgate will have to continue their strong play as they travel to Binghamton this week and face Bucknell at home this weekend, with doubleheaders starting at 12:00 Saturday and 3:30 Sunday.