While most of the focus this past weekend was on Georgetown’s basketball team, the Raiders battled the Hoyas and two other opponents on the diamond in the Hoya invitational. Unfortunately, Colgate dropped its entire “final four” games before the start of its Patriot League Schedule.
The team opened up play against Radford on Saturday. Radford broke the game open in the third inning. With the score deadlocked at one, the Highlanders scored four times in the inning to take a 5-1 lead. Radford still led going into the seventh and final inning by a 7-3 score. That’s when Colgate made things interesting. They scored two runs in the seventh, when Radford hit a batter with the bases loaded and sophomore Kortney Hannah hit an RBI single. However, Colgate could not get any closer and fell by a score of 7-5.
Colgate went right back to work later in the afternoon, in a game against the Golden Griffins of Canisius. Colgate benefited from strong pitching, but they couldn’t muster much offense, scoring just one run. Senior Kelsey Nordstrom had an excellent outing, throwing every pitch for her team, striking out eight, and allowing just six hits. Colgate grabbed the early 1-0 lead on first-year Amanda Eccleston’s RBI single, but Canisius took the lead for good in the fourth inning when Jess Martin hit a two run double. Canisius later added another run and coasted to a 3-1 victory.
Next up for Colgate, on Sunday, was the host team Georgetown. Nordstrom pitched again and delivered another stellar outing. In fact she had a shutout going into the bottom of the sixth; unfortunately Colgate had not given her a single run in support. Georgetown went on to brake up the shutout, scoring two runs in the inning. That was all they needed as Georgetown starter Jennifer Connell blanked Colgate en route to a 2-0 victory.
Oddly enough Colgate played Georgetown again later in the afternoon, in the third place game. The Hoyas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Colgate answered back with a solo home run by sophomore Erin Gomez in the fifth and added another run in the sixth, but they couldn’t muster any more runs and fell by a final score of 3-2.
With the exception of the Radford game offense was a big issue for Colgate over the weekend, and it has been all season. The team batting average is only .211 and in their four losses in the Invitational they averaged just 2.5 runs a game, with half of their runs coming against Radford. Not just hitting, but hitting in key situations has been a major problem for the Raiders.
“The good news is that we are getting people on base, the bad news is that our struggle is getting our runners to score,” Head Coach Vickie Sax said. “We’ve left 134 runners on base in 23 games.That puts a lot of pressure on our defense to be perfect.”
Despite their hitting struggles, the pitching has been strong. Colgate leads the Patriot League with a sterling 3.10 ERA, led by Nordstrom’s remarkable 1.30 ERA. However, as Colgate prepares for two conference clashes at Holy Cross this weekend, they’ll need to improve on offense, and no one knows that better than the Head Coach.
“This week’s practices will be focused on offensiveconfidence, re-issuing faith that we have the talent to get it done,” Coach Sax said.
The Raiders can still rebound and if Colgate can find some offense to complement their pitching, they may well become one of the most formidable teams in the Patriot League.