Oberlin Spoils DePauw’s 8–0 Conference Record
After losing 12 of its previous 13 games, the softball team beat the DePauw University Tigers twice last Saturday on its home field. The Yeowomen won 5–2 in walk-off fashion in the first game, and seized a 6–3 win in the second game.
The pair of victories put an end to the team’s slump and spoiled the Tigers’ formerly perfect North Coast Athletic Conference record. The Yeowomen’s record now sits at 6–16 overall and 3–7 in the NCAC.
“Beating DePauw did not look that different than how we have been playing all year long; it just finally went our way,” said Head Coach Mimi Mahon.
In the first game, junior Katie Pieplow smacked a three-run walk off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the game for the Yeowomen. The homer was her second of the season and added to her team-leading RBI total of 24.
“Our strongest point is that we are fighters. We come out hard, we score first and we put the pressure on throughout the whole game. With that being said, we are not al ways consistent when we come out to the field, but we have become so much better about that,” Pieplow said.
Practices leading up to the doubleheader were devoted to focusing on game scenarios, such as learning how to score with a runner on second or limiting the number of errors to maintain the lead.
“We have talked a lot about having confidence and knowing how to close the door, because we have had a ton of leads in games where we have made some mistakes or er ors and the [other team] come[s] back from that,” said Coach Mahon.
Senior pitcher Emily King also talked about the importance of a pregame strategy.
“Well we’ve always worked on rundowns,” she said. “We have a drill that we do for them all the time, and it really paid off against DePauw. We had some major outs come from getting DePauw players out in rundowns, so that was really great to see all of our work paying off.”
It was clear that King’s hard work in practice carried over to Saturday, as she threw a complete game in the first half of the doubleheader, throwing 81 of her 112 pitches for strikes, while going two-for-four with a double at the plate. King also pitched the last two innings of the second game, getting the final five outs to earn the win.
“[King] is someone that just gets a lot of ground balls, which in softball is great, and if you can get that, then we can make the plays. She has pitched well all year long and has been very consistent,” said Coach Mahon.
During the second game, sophomores Caroline Hamilton and Jenny Hill each contributed to the score, with a run scored and an RBI, respectively. Junior Jenny Goldsmith had two RBIs, and first year Sami Mericle scored both a run and an RBI to give the team just enough to edge out the Tigers.
Next up for the Yeowomen is a doubleheader against the Wittenberg University Tigers in Springfield, Ohio.
“I think we should just continue to ride this high that we have and be confident in what we’re doing. If we continue to stick to our game plan and be aggressive, then we’re going to beat them too,” said Coach Mahon.
The Yeowomen return home April 19 for a doubleheader against the Hiram College Terriers.