Women’s Softball Pushes Record to 14-4

Rebecca Silberman

The Colgate softball team had a busy week at the Rebel Games, held in Kissimmee, Florida, racking up a tournament record of 9-3 and bringing their season record to 14-4. The tournament featured 39 Division I teams from across the country. Representing the Patriot League alongside Colgate were Lehigh (7-7 on the season), Army (8-6), Lafayette (4-7), and Holy Cross (4-10). The Raiders did not face any of these opponents over the course of the week, however.

The team began the tournament with two wins, one over Wagner and the other over Manhattan. In the earlier game against the Wagner Jaspers, sophomore outfielder Stephanie Hartquist drove in two runs as the Raiders won 5-1. Sophomore pitcher Michelle Hollebeke pitched a complete game five-hitter and improved to 2-0. Later that night, senior captain Jesse McCarrick pitched for six-plus innings, giving up five hits and striking out two as the team beat Manhattan 7-4. First-year Courtney O’Connell earned the save, finishing the seventh without giving up a hit.

During day two, Colgate won its first game against Marist 6-2 but fell to Rider 5-4. The day began with a three-run first inning featuring a two-run triple by sophomore captain Jennifer Ortega, who extended her hitting streak to fifteen games. In the third inning, Colgate tacked on two more runs with sophomore outfielder Amanda Zranchev’s two-out single scoring the second.

In a heart-breaker, the team found themselves down by one run entering into the bottom of the seventh against Rider. The winning run, an unearned run, had been scored just minutes earlier during the top half of the inning. The team had the opportunity to win the game with Hartquist’s leadoff single and the sacrifice bunt which moved her to second, but was unable to push another run across the board.

After a day off, the Raiders returned to the diamond on Tuesday and were faced with another close game, this time against Hartford. Losing 7-3 in extra innings, the team combined to make three errors which allowed four unearned runs. Earlier in the game, junior captain Nicole Siedhof scorched a home run to even the score at one. Hartford closed the game decisively with two home runs in the eighth. In the second game, facing Manhattan for the second time, back-to-back singles by senior Melissa Babb-Renta and first-year Alana Dyson resulted in an early lead which the team would maintain until the end of the game which they won 4-2.

Colgate opened their fourth day competing in Florida with a victory over their in-state rival Columbia 3-2. Although Columbia snagged the early lead, junior outfielder Brittany Hanrahan and Siedhof shot back-to-back, two-out doubles to tie the game. The Raiders earned their final two runs in the sixth on a passed ball and an error on the resulting defensive scramble. Later, against Green Bay, the team capitalized on late inning heroics to take the win 8-7 when, in the bottom of the seventh, first-year Emmie Dolfi slapped a sacrifice fly to give Colgate the edge.

Colgate continued to play impressively the next day, defeating St. Peters 10-4 and Fairleigh Dickinson 10-1. First-year Natalie Siedhof (sister to junior Nicole Siedhof) had an exceptional day at the plate. She hit three home runs and scored six during the two games. To complement the offensive explosion of the day, Hollebeke pitched four perfect innings against St. Peter’s and McCarrick threw three scoreless innings, allowing only one hit against Fairleigh Dickinson. The Raiders dominated the second game from the start as they scored eight runs in the first inning.

The team finished the tournament with a 4-0 shutout over Hartford and a 9-6 loss to Marist. Hollebeke recoded the win over Hartford, improving to 8-1 on the season. She struck out five. Marist broke through a tied game in the second inning with seven runs and would never relinquish their lead.

Looking ahead, the Raiders will push to continue both their offensive productivity and their solid defensive game. So far, the team has out hit their opponents .311 to .225, a testament to both the hitter’s prowess and the pitcher’s dominance. Facing upcoming games with their Patriot League foes, the Colgate softball team is gearing up for an exciting and competitive season.

The team will next take the field on March 27 in the Delaware State Tournament in Dover, DE.