Though the Colgate bats didn’t quite sizzle during spring break in balmy Osceola, Florida, but senior Kelsey Nordstrom kept bringing the heat. The ace was named Patriot League Softball Pitcher of the Week for the third time in four weeks after she gave up only four earned runs in 22 innings, while striking out 21 batters in a three-game stretch during the Rebel Tournament. Without much run support, she went 1-2 in her three starts during the week. Overall for the tournament, Nordstrom punched out 38 batters while giving up only four earned runs in 34 innings. The senior’s most dominant effort came in a five-inning shutout relief appearance against Vermont in which she recorded 13 strikeouts for a Raider victory. Her red-hot performance catapulted her to fourth on the all-time Colgate strikeouts list with 273. For the season, Nordstrom is 5-2 with a 1.08 earned run average with 57 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched.
Despite Nordstrom’s brilliance and another solid string of starts from first-year pitcher Amanda Eccleston (28 IP, 9 ER), last week’s Patriot League Softball Rookie of the Week, the Raiders went 5-7 on their trip down south. Colgate came away victorious in games against Sacred Heart, Vermont, UW-Green Bay, FDU-Teaneck and Columbia while dropping matches to Valparaiso, Butler, Cleveland State, Hartford, St. Louis, Dayton and Yale. Sophomore second baseman Kortney Hannah led the Raiders with nine hits while batting .346 despite missing the team’s last four games. She continues to lead Colgate in batting over the season, hitting .378 in 45 at-bats with an OPS of .829. Her classmate and super-sub sophomore Vicky Ortengren also had a solid showing at the dish, batting .352 in 17 at-bats while driving in four runs. She is hitting .444 with runners on base. Junior third baseman Whitney Scott scored nine runs in 12 games. Scott leads the team in runs scored (12) and RBI (8) so far this year. Defending Patriot League Player of the Year junior shortstop LaPorscha Albert is still waiting to catch fire with the bat, as her batting average dipped to .130 after the tournament. A few hits here and there should get her back in the groove, as she still demonstrates power (3 doubles in 6 hits) and patience (team-leading 12 walks and a respectable .333 OBP) in the lead-off spot. She hit .368 with a Patriot League-leading 15 doubles while recording a .986 OPS last year.
Colgate softball is now 8-11 heading towards the end of their pre-season. The team has not yet played at home, where they recorded a near-perfect 7-1 record last year. This weekend the Raiders will travel to the nation’s capitol to participate in Georgetown’s Hoya Invitational. Colgate will face Radford, Canisius and Georgetown in their last tune-up for the Patriot League regular season opener at Holy Cross.