Softball Gains Experience Down South

John Kelly

The softball team opened up the season by heading down to Cajun country to participate in the Northwestern State Invitational in Louisiana. Against top-notch competition, the Raiders compiled a 1-3 record. Although Colgate only got one win out of the weekend trip, Coach Vickie Sax was pleased with the team’s performance.

“Colgate softball has never opened so early or with such a tough schedule,” Sax said. “The objective of the Louisiana trip was to get our ball club ready earlier and to play top notch competition.”

Colgate opened their 2007 season by falling to a strong Tennessee-Martin team by a score of 8-0. The Skyhawk’s were led by the outstanding play of pitcher Ashley Myatt who surrendered only two hits, en-route to a shutout. On the offensive side, the Skyhawks came out firing on all cylinders and scored five earned runs in the first inning off Colgate first-year right hander Amanda Eccleston. They Skyhawks would add two more runs in the second inning and one more in the sixth to finish out the game.

In the nightcap, the Raiders returned to the diamond as a completely different team and thoroughly outplayed a tough Alcorn State squad, to secure a 6-1 victory. Senior right-hander Kelsey Nordstrom turned in a stellar performance, allowing three hits over five innings while striking out six batters. First-year Jesse McCarrick came in relief and allowed no hits and struck out two during two innings of work. The Raiders raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when sophomore Kortney Hannah drove in reigning Patriot League Player of the year junior LaPorscha Albert, with a double to left field. Hannah later scored on junior Whitney Scott’s RBI single. In the fourth inning, the Raiders hot hitting continued as junior Jessie Bentovoja and sophomore Calla Yee both had RBI singles. Colgate added an additional run in the fifth frame when Hannah stole home on a nifty double-steal scheme. The Raiders finished out the scoring on Scott’s sacrifice fly in the seventh which scored Hannah. Head Coach Sax was extremely impressed with Nordstrom’s performance.

“Kelsey Nordstrom had a very strong performance on the mound. This was like a ‘welcome back’ present to her after she battled a bad shoulder all last season,” Sax commented.

Nordstrom contributed her stellar play to her teammates.

“It was great to be back on the mound and I contributed most my success to our defense and catching. The support of my teammates and coaching staff made it easy for me to pitch at my best.”

Coming off this stellar performance the Raiders headed eagerly into their match-up against the ninth ranked Ragin Cajuns of University Louisiana-Lafayette. Unfortunately, the Raiders could not keep up with ULL’s potent pitching and eeked out only four hits in a 10-1 loss. McCarrick took the mound in the match-up and surrendered six hits while giving up six runs and striking out two. Colgate sole run came in the second when Scott doubled and raced home on Eccleston’s single to center field.

In the final game of the tournament the Raiders fell to host Northwestern State by a score of 6-2. The Raiders opened up the scoring in the first inning with an RBI single by Hannah. However, Colgate failed to muster more offensive production, while the Demons scored five times in the third and once more in the fourth to escape with the victory.

“This was our first weekend on the dirt and it didn’t go exactly how we wanted it to go, but we did a lot of great things,” Hannah said. “The teams we played were nationally ranked and we were still able to keep up with them.”

The Raiders will return to the diamond this weekend when they head to Washington D.C. to participate in the Colonial Classic.