Softball earns first Patriot League series win of the season

Softball+honored+four+seniors+at+their+last+home+series+of+the+season%2C+including+infielder+Miranda+Skurla%2C+pictured.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Softball honored four seniors at their last home series of the season, including infielder Miranda Skurla, pictured. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Amy Hewlett

The Lafayette softball team earned their first Patriot League series win this weekend against Colgate. The Leopards lost their first game on Saturday (8-5), but came back with a win in game two of their doubleheader (3-0) and another win on Sunday (6-5).

“It was a huge success to have that win for us,” senior outfielder Morgan Biddle said. “We’re going into harder games against Boston and Army, so the fact that we finally finished it was a big mental confidence boost.”

The weekend began with the team’s annual senior day celebration, which honored four senior Leopards on their final home field series. Biddle, catcher Rebecca Dvorak, second base Samantha Sweigart and infielder Miranda Skurla were joined by family members on the field prior to the first game to be recognized for their four year commitment to the team.

“For me, my mom coming was the most special part for me,” Dvorak said. “I also liked how the whole team comes together and tries to make it special for the seniors.”

In the first game against Colgate, the Leopards couldn’t seem to get their defense up to speed with their offense. The game was high scoring on both teams, which Dvorak accredited to weaknesses in pitching and on defense.

“I think we just couldn’t get our act together,” Dvorak said. “We scored right off the bat, then we just kind of just stopped.”

The Leopards began game one with the lead. After freshman outfielder Paige Grover’s sixth home run of the season, the Leopards were up 2-0 within the first inning. The Leopards let up during the next few innings, allowing the Raiders to take a 5-2 lead in the seventh inning.

“We didn’t really try to come back right away,” Dvorak said. “We came back in the seventh but it wasn’t enough.”

Lafayette tried to make a comeback, tying the game 5-5 with junior catcher Maddie Wensel’s three-run home run at the bottom of the seventh. The Raiders fought back harder though, taking the game to an eight inning where the scored three more runs to win the game.

“Our offense tried to make a comeback, but our defense was struggling a little bit, which made it hard to bounce back,” Biddle said. 

In game two, the Leopards came back with a stronger defensive effort. Similarly to game one, the Leopards took an early lead of 2-0 in the first inning. The Leopards’ pitching game improved since the first game, and the Raiders were unable to pose any real threat to the Leopards. In the fifth inning of the game, junior shortstop Brooke Wensel scored the third and final run of the game.

“We brought it back up to a clean defense, and our offense was still on,” Biddle said. “We were sharper and our pitchers started pitching strikes, and that’s really what turned it around.”

In the final game of the series, the Raiders took the lead in the first inning, scoring a single run. The Leopards came back in the third inning, scoring five runs on three hits, giving them a 5-1 lead.

“We just knew that we could beat Colgate, “Dvorak said. “We didn’t stop after scoring, we kept pushing.”

The Raiders began to close the gap on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, scoring three more runs with sophomore Alexis Randall on the mound.

In the sixth inning, Grover scored another home run to bring the score to 6-4 for the Leopards. The Raiders earned one more run in the seventh inning, but the Leopards finished with another win, earning them a series win over Colgate.

“I want to see us win the next two series” Biddle said. “If we keep winning, we can make it to the Patriot League Tournament.”

The Leopards head to Boston this weekend for another three game Patriot League series.