Inconsistency Plagues Softball at Rebel Games

Daniel Glaser

While many Colgate students enjoyed time off last week, the Raider softball team battled through a grueling Spring Break schedule at the Rebel Games in Osceola, FL. Colgate defeated Cleveland State and George Washington, the latter win avenging a loss in the season opener. But the team also fell to Yale, Rider and Fairfield, we well as dropping a heartbreaker to Wagner.

Senior ace Kate Howard led the way to a 3-1 victory against Cleveland State last Tuesday, allowing just one run on three hits to go along with seven strikeouts. The win was her fourth in the first five decisions of the season. Down 1-0 in the fifth inning, Colgate scored three runs. The big blow came on a two-run single from first-year Ashley Rowe, scoring senior Kim Olmstead and first-year Kortney Hannah. Sophomore Whitney Scott provided insurance with an RBI single of her own.

In the nightcap against Yale, the Raiders struggled against the Bulldogs’ Ashley Linnenbank, as the Yale hurler yielded only one run on four hits in a complete game effort. The decisive moment came when Yale’s Deanna DiBernardi hit a three-run homer in the second inning. After Yale tacked on another run in the third inning, the Raiders scored their only run in the fifth inning when first-year Calla Yee drove in Scott with an RBI single. But Colgate could not draw any closer, falling short by a final score of 4-1.

The next day, Colgate again split a pair of games, losing 3-0 to Rider but coming back to defeat George Washington, 4-3 at night. The Raiders managed only two hits off Rider’s Heather Beintema, who also struck out nine in a complete game win. But the team fared much better against the Colonials, overcoming a one-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning. First-year Vicky Ortengren singled home classmate Tiana Tyeskey to tie the game, while Yee scored the eventual winning run on a wild pitch. Howard, who had pitched three innings against Rider because of an injury to junior pitcher Kelsey Nordstrom, allowed only one run in pitching a complete game. She came up especially big in the seventh and final inning, stranding the potential tying run on second base with consecutive strikeouts to end the game.

The Raiders finished the break with tough defeats against Wagner and Fairfield last Thursday. Sophomore LaPorscha Albert led the Raiders against Wagner with three hits and a run scored, while Ortengren went 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Howard again went the distance, yielding five earned runs on 10 hits. She also struck out three batters and walked two.

Rowe and Hannah paced the offensive attack against Fairfield, each going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. But it was not enough as the Stags scored seven times in the third inning to turn a 3-1 Raider lead into an 8-3 Fairfield advantage. Fairfield added two more runs in the fifth and seventh innings en route to a 12-5 victory.

Despite the mixed results last week, Colgate’s individual player performances definitely stand out among Patriot League teams so far this season. Howard earned the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week award for her many excellent efforts. The Wheaton, IL, native went 2-2 with four complete games and 17 strikeouts, moving her into third place on Colgate’s all-time win and strikeout lists with 39 and 289, respectively. With three more strikeouts, Howard will move into second place on the all-time list. Howard also leads all Patriot League hurlers with six complete games in total.

Rowe collected Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors for the second time this season. She hit .421 with five RBIs last week, and leads the team with nine RBIs and a .524 slugging percentage overall.

After competing in the Rebel Games, Colgate now possesses a record of 6-7 on the season. Tomorrow, the Raiders visit Emmitsburg, MD to take part in the Mount St. Mary’s Tournament. On Sunday, the team visits Philadelphia to play two games against the University of Pennsylvania.