After an extremely successful winning streak in the past couple of weeks, the women’s softball team hit a couple of speed bumps after dropping two to on the road at Binghamton, 5-3 and 4-3. The team was determined not to let this setback derail their season, however, and the women claimed one loss and two wins over Lehigh, 6-13, 13-7 and 8-5. The team currently holds a 19-15 overall record, with a 10-1 count in the Patriot League.
The Raiders came out uncharacteristically slowly in the first game against Binghamton in which they were still searching for their first tally into the sixth inning. Fortunately, first-year Jennifer Martin was able to cross the plate after a wild pitch. The bases were loaded even after the first score, but Colgate was unable to capitalize on the opportunity and the score rested at 5-1 after a Binghamton relief pitcher sat the next two Colgate batters.
The Raiders were able to bring two women across the plate in the seventh as sophomore Natalie Siedhof hit a two-run blast into right field. Colgate loaded the bases for a second time in the inning with two outs on the board, but the effort was not enough. First-year Tera Vaughn grounded out to the shortstop and the game ended with a final score of 5-3.
Star first-year Rachel LeCoq pitched three innings and gave up for hits and two earned runs, striking out three. She is the fourth Raider to tally over 100 strike outs in a season. The last was Kelsey Nordstrom with 156 in 2007.
In the second game, all four of Binghamton’s were scored off a grand slam by Deannie Plemon in the third inning. The Raiders got off to a better start, leading the game 1-0 in the first inning, and 2-0 in the third off a solo home run from sophomore Natalie Siedhof. Sophomore Courtney O’Connell took the mound in the game and pitched six innings, allowing five hits and four earned runs while striking out two.
After two losses to Binghamton, the Raiders were determined to beat their first Patriot League opponents, Lehigh. The team took the field at home on April 16 for a double-header but only played one game due to weather conditions. Unfortunately, the desire to succeed would not be enough for the Raiders to take the win, and the team lost 13-6.
Colgate got off to yet another slow start when in the fifth inning they finally evened the score 4-4 off a pair of home runs to bring three home. Lehigh responded in the sixth inning with three more runs to take a 7-4 lead before the raiders, in the bottom of the sixth, added two going into the last inning of the game. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unable to continue the climb and allowed the Mountain Hawks to take advantage of two Colgate errors. The first game of the series ended with the Raiders down and out.
Day two of the Lehigh series brought a little more hope for the Raiders, however, as they swept the day. Siedhof hit her first career grand slam and Vaughn brought in five runs. Colgate stepped up their game, bringing home a remarkable eight girls right out of the gate off Siedhof ‘s grand slam and another three-run single by Vaughn. The Mountain Hawks, taken by surprise, fought back and scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and eventually added three in the fifth to cut the gap to just one. Colgate made a statement in the seventh, however, when they scored an additional five runs and ended the game with a score of 13-7. O’Connell posted the win with five innings, while junior Michelle Hollebeke finished the final three without letting any of the Mountain Hawk women score.
In the final game of the series, the Raiders got off to a slower start, scoring four in the fourth inning from a duo of two-run homers to bring the score to 7-4. Lehigh answered with a solo home run of their own off the bat of Jennifer Colquhoun in the fifth inning to make the score 7-5. LeCoq pitched the first four innings and gave up five hits and five earned runs.
Colgate will be back in action on Wednesday, April 20 when it takes on Cornell for a double-header. The first game is slated to begin at 3 p.m. The Patriot League Tournament will begin on May 12 and will last two days and will take place at the home of the highest seeded team.