Softball team kicks off spring season with slow start

Natalie Mogul

The Lafayette softball team opened their season with a doubleheader against George Washington University (GW) last weekend, and ultimately lost both games with final scores of 2-0 and 7-4. Despite the losses, the team had a promising first performance.

In the first game, freshman pitcher Kinzi Van Wyk threw six solid innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and recording a strikeout. The team struggled offensively in the opener, as they managed one hit, a triple, courtesy of senior shortstop Brooke Wensel. 

In the second game, stand out performers included freshman outfielder Erin Scott who hit a two-run double in the first inning to give Lafayette an early 2-0 advantage. Wensel hit a double in the same inning and came around to score on Scott’s RBI double. On the defensive side, sophomore outfielder Paige Grover recorded 10 putouts for the day and had a catch at the fence. 

Second-year head coach Caitlyn de la Haba was looking to get a feel for the new team in their season opener, as the Leopards prepare for Patriot League play which begins in late March. 

“The expectations were that we were getting out on a field for the first time all spring, so we wanted to put a few different lineups on the field,” de la Haba said. “We also expected them to come out with a lot of energy and compete at a high level, which they did.”

Van Wyk said she is encouraged about the team’s potential this season and emphasized the need for continued work in practice in order for the group to improve.

“We will definitely learn from [the GW game] and only grow from it,” she said. “Everyone on the team has the mindset of winning, and we are all on the same page about how we want the season to go, so everyone put in extra time during our off season to get to where we want to be.” 

Both de la Haba and Van Wyk agreed that preseason has positively affected the team’s chemistry, making it one of their greatest strengths this season. De la Haba said she is now focusing on ironing out the little details and emphasizing consistency before league games start.

Once we get to conference play, we want to play at a high level and compete every single game, no matter who we are playing,” de la Haba said. “If we do that, we are confident that we will make it to the next level and be in the postseason.” 

“I am excited about this team, even after just the first weekend,” she added. “They have something special about them, and I think they are ready to take this program to new heights. The future is bright.” 

The Leopards return to action this weekend at the Elon Phoenix Invitational, with games against Elon, Oakland, and La Salle.