The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Softball sees mixed results at weekend tournament

Photo by fayette for The Lafayette
Sophomore infielder Kylee Sweet takes a swing at the plate. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Softball began its season going 2-3 in five games at the Tarleton State Whataburger Invitational this past weekend. The Leopards dropped their first two games to Mississippi Valley State and Tarleton State in a doubleheader.

The following day, the team won two games against the University of Buffalo and Tarleton State. It finished its trip with a hard-fought loss against Idaho State.

Junior outfielder Mary Grace O’Neill was a main contributor to the offense for the team with two three-hit games. Overall, the Fordham transfer went eight for 2o with a batting average of .400. Once on base, O’Neill dominated with five stolen bases.

O’Neill noted that the coaches said “just to compete every day, compete every pitch,” going into the tournament.

After being up 4-1 in the third inning against Mississippi Valley State in their first game, the Leopards gave up five runs in the fourth followed by two and four in the fifth and sixth, respectively, to lose 12-6. The team added another loss later that day when it fell to Tarleton State by a score of 8-1.

However, the team rallied to beat Buffalo 4-2 on Saturday and then shut out Tarleton State 3-0 in its afternoon game.

“It was a fresh day, and we knew that we had the ability to come out on top,” O’Neill said about the team’s bounce back. “We just kept a positive mindset and the confidence that we can come out and win,” she added.

Sunday was the last day of play for the Leopards, and they played a tough team in the 10-win Idaho State Bengals. Junior pitcher Morrigan Gardiner had one of her best outings yet as she struck out seven batters over 7 1/3 innings.

The Leopards started out hot by gaining a 2-0 lead in the second, but a Bengal two-run home run in the fourth evened the score. The score remained the same into extra innings when, in the top of the eighth inning, O’Neill scored to give the Leopards a 3-2 lead. This did not last, however, as Idaho State scored two in the bottom of that inning thanks to two doubles.

“It showed that we are a competitive team,” freshman catcher Regan Dillon said of the game. “While it didn’t result in the outcome we were hoping for, it granted us an opportunity to learn so we win the next game in that situation.”

Dillon won Patriot League Rookie of the Week for her stellar performance in the tournament. She batted .600 over the five-game stretch with four doubles and two RBIs.

“I wanted to compete and make a statement,” Dillon said. “I am proud of the work the team has been putting in throughout the offseason and wanted to show that Lafayette softball is not a team to be taken lightly.”

The team is very confident coming off of its opening performance and looks forward to the season ahead. 

“[The confidence] is high right now,” O’Neill said. “We’re a very close team, and we have good chemistry and energy in the dugout.”

The next games for the softball team will be this weekend as the Leopards head to the Sunshine State for the University of Florida T-Mobile Tournament.

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