The Raiders had a clean sweep in last weekend’s series play versus the Lafayette Leopards. Going 3-0 for their second Patriot League series in a row, the Raiders improve their league play record to 8-1 with three more conference contenders remaining.
The results started and ended with a bang for the Raiders, who tallied an impressive 32 runs to the Leopards’ five. Colgate wasted no time in Saturday’s appearance and took the lead by four runs by the end of the second inning.
The Raiders secured the win in the bottom of the sixth when a team effort brought three more runners home and the team walked off the field with a 7-0 win.
Impressive offensive performances from sophomore Katie Bushee and senior Kate Zucker aided in the Raiders’ game one success. Meanwhile junior Brigit Ieuter let up just three hits all game, denying the Leopards any glimpse of victory.
Ieuter recorded another shutout on Sunday’s first victory, again only allowing the Leopards three hits all game. But the victory didn’t come early in game two. Anticipation was building until the bottom of the fourth inning when Junior Marisa Dowling hit a home run for the Raiders’ first tally on the board. Dowling’s run sparked a ten-point unanswered scoring spree to secure an 11-0 game two result.
While scoring 11 unanswered points, the Raiders were still able to bring excitement to the contest. Junior Alex Gadiano hit a grand slam in bottom of the fifth to send the Raiders into their final game with confidence. Gadiano’s first career grand slam was a moment to be remembered for the junior.
“It was a great feeling to know that I was able to be big for my teammates and play an integral role in our success on Sunday,” Gadiano said.
Although the early domination in the first two games of the series put the Raiders in a great position, they were focused on the task at hand.
“Playing with a lead can be just as tough as playing with a deficit,” Gadiano said. “It is easy to get complacent and ‘take your foot off the gas’ as my coach often says, which gives your opponent the possibility to get back in the game.”
But the Raiders held the pedal to the metal throughout game three, only letting the Leopards taste victory for a half of the first inning.
The Leopards took the lead in the top of the first inning but could not hold it for long, as the Raiders came roaring back. By the end of the second inning, the Raiders were ahead 9-3 and further increased their lead in the last two innings, defeating Lafayette 15-4. Gadiano had a two-run double to seal the deal on game three.
With a seven game winning streak in league play, the Raiders are getting closer to their goal of hosting the Patriot League tournament on Eaton Street home turf. But the Raiders still have eleven games to play in the next three weeks, eight of them counting towards Patriot League seeding.
It is no easy feat to juggle a demanding softball schedule with taxing amounts of homework and active social lives, not to mention exams that are just around the corner. Constantly on the road for away series, which generally last two days, the Raiders have learned to find a method to handle their rigorous and sometimes stressful schedules.
“We have to make some sacrifices, but we have a lot of support to minimize the stress,” Ieuter said.
“Our coaches and many other athletic staff members are very good at helping us communicate with our professors to find ways to make everything work out,” sophomore Gillian Murray added.
With a successful season thus far, the Raiders have confidence moving into the home stretch of Patriot League play.
“We realize that to get to the tournament we have to keep winning games, so right now we are looking forward to hosting Holy Cross this Saturday,” Gadiano said.