Softball Sweeps Holy Cross at Home Opening Weekend

Sloan Martin, Sports Editor

This past weekend marked a large turning point for the Colgate University Women’s Softball season. Colgate kicked off its home opener and first Patriot League series of the year in three games over the weekend against Holy Cross, with back-to-back games on Saturday and another game on Sunday. Impressively, the Raiders emerged victorious in all three bouts. Heading into the weekend with an 11-18 record on the season, the team should now feel confident about its 5-1 record in conference play and undefeated record at home.

Senior Steph Jacoby spoke about the team’s feeling after their clean sweep of Holy Cross: “It was really exciting for us to go 3-0 on the weekend because we know every Patriot League game means a lot in helping us achieve our goal of reaching the championship. The team showed a lot of fight this weekend and we have a lot of momentum going into a midweek double header against Cornell Wednesday and another weekend of Patriot League play against Lehigh.”

The Raiders opened their first game at Eaton Street Field this season with a bang – making light work of Holy Cross 12-2. Senior Bailey Misken opened as the pitcher, and only allowed two runs which were scored in the fifth inning. Colgate took the lead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, and never let it go. Senior Adrienne Nardone notched a two-RBI dinger in the bottom of the third to give ‘Gate a comfortable 4-0 lead. The Raiders exploded in the sixth inning, where senior Taylor Ludwick and sophomore Claire Whalen were able to cross the plate from walks, and Nardone added another three-RBI homer to ice the game. Nardone’s second home run closed the game by invoking the mercy rule, as the Raiders were up 12-2.

Only 40 minutes later, the Raiders were set for game two with first-year Alexa Acker leading the charge at pitcher. The Crusaders started the first inning strongly with two runs, but were quickly usurped by an imposing six-run first inning by Colgate. Junior Kara Fusco’s bat was hot, adding two RBIs on two hits. Holy Cross tried to make a push late in the sixth inning by bringing the score to 7-5, but Acker and the defense stayed strong to end the game.

Jacoby also spoke to the excitement of playing at home again: “This weekend was super special, especially being my last home opener as a senior on the team. The energy is always great at Eaton Street and we love to play at home as a group. We had a lot of people show their support and come out this weekend despite the cold so that was really great to see.”

The energy continued into game three on Easter Sunday, April 9, where Misken returned to the mound. Ludwick opened the scoring in the first inning, batting in Fusco to add a run. However, the Crusaders jumped ahead by two runs in the third inning by two RBIs and a wild pitch. The game swung back even in the fourth inning when sophomores Jillian Herbst and Alexis Romero each replied with an RBI. Fusco iced the game with a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning to secure the three-game sweep of Holy Cross. Defensively, Misken struck out five batters and now has a 7-7 record on the season when pitching.

Head Softball Coach Marissa Lamison-Myers spoke highly of the senior pitcher: “She has stepped up in big moments and continues to in her senior year. Making her way up the strikeout record book she pushes herself each day to be better. Bailey has also been a great leader this year within our pitching and catching staff.”

Misken herself elaborated on the weekend’s results: “Since this was our home opener and our season’s first Patriot League series sweep, it felt very special winning all three games against Holy Cross. The last game was a battle and it was a full team effort to get the win. The team is feeling very confident for the rest of the season, and sweeping Holy Cross gave us a lot of momentum as we head into our upcoming series against Lehigh this weekend.”