Colgate Softball Splits Four-Game Series With Army

Juliana Garofalo

In the opening weekend of its Patriot League schedule, the Raider softball team walked away satisfied with a four-game split against the Army Black Knights. The teams played doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday in West Point, NY, and the Raiders finally defeated Army after losing to the Knights on eight consecutive occasions, including twice in last season’s Patriot League Tournament.Saturday’s first game brought a disappointing loss for the Raiders despite a valiant effort. Senior Natalie Rawson put Colgate on the board in the top of the second inning after scoring on a passed ball. Unfortunately, this momentum was quickly extinguished in the bottom of the inning, as the Cadets scored six runs. Colgate responded in the top of the second inning by tightening the gap to 6-4, thanks to an RBI double by first-year LaPorscha Albert and RBI singles by senior Dorothy Donaldson and junior Erin Hanna. However, Army scored three more runs and held the Raiders scoreless to take victory in game one.On Saturday evening, the team started off well in the first inning, as the first four Raiders reached base and the team scored five runs before the Black Knights stepped to the plate. But Army climbed back into the game in its final at-bat, tying the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Raiders responded, however, as junior Erin Hanna doubled to left field with one out and first-year Erin O’Keefe singled to drive home Hanna for the the game-winning run.The Raiders assured themselves of at least a split in game one on Sunday, as they took down the Cadets by a score of 6-1. A three-run home run by senior Natalie Rawson during the third inning gave her team the early advantage and put her in second place on both the Colgate and Patriot League all-time list. The Cadets attempted to catch up in the next inning by scoring one run, but the team was unable to score again for the remainder of the game. The Raiders, meanwhile, added a run in each of the final three innings. Thanks to a wild pitch from Army, O’Keefe was able to cross home plate to notch the fourth run of the game during the fifth inning. Senior Nichole Rawson followed her sister’s earlier power by hitting her second home run of the season during the sixth inning. The sixth and final Colgate run came in the seventh and final inning, when Albert made it home off of an error by the Army shortstop. Junior Kate Howard got the win for Colgate after allowing only four hits, striking out five batters and walking only one. During the appearance she reached the 200 career strikeout plateau, making her the fifth player in Raider history to record such numbers.After winning two consecutive games, the Raider women were unable to continue their momentum and fell to the Cadets, 4-1, on Sunday evening. Army made its move in the first inning, scoring its first run of the game off an RBI single to center field. A two-run home run increased the lead to 3-0 during the third inning, and the team’s final run was tallied in the fifth thanks to another home run. Scott scored the only run for the Raiders in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Albert.All in all, it was a successful weekend for the softball team, considering its previous record against Army. The team is now 2-2 in the Patriot League and 8-9 overall.This weekend, the team was expecting to play four games against league cellar-dweller Bucknell, but the games were cancelled due to unplayable field conditions here in Hamilton. Makeup dates have yet to be set for those games, but the Raiders will be playing another doubleheader on Tuesday against Binghamton.