Yeowomen Can’t Dodge Arrows in Weekend Sweep
The softball team stepped up to the plate Wednesday to take on the Ursuline College Arrows in Pepper Pike, Ohio. After two weeks of rest and preparation since their last game, the Yeowomen took the field to try to earn their first win of the season.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Arrows took an early 3–0 lead in the first inning. Ursuline would add another three runs in the fourth inning to put Oberlin down 6–0. The Yeowomen would not go down quietly, however, making a comeback bid in the top of the seventh, courtesy of a two-run homerun from junior pitcher and outfielder Tori Poplaski. Despite this, the Yeowomen were unable to continue their run, ultimately losing game one 6–2.
Poplaski said the Yeowomen’s lack of rhythm definitely factored into Wednesday’s results.
“Coach said, at the beginning of the game, to not go too big picture,” she said. “Softball, [like] baseball, is a game of momentum. Usually, the team that keeps the momentum is the team that wins. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t keep that momentum in our favor.”
First-year Emma Downing started on the mound in game two of the doubleheader, but the Arrows stepped up to the plate aggressively, earning six runs in the opening inning. First-year Hannah Rasmussen returned to the mound for the second time in the evening to relieve Downing. After throwing for two innings in game one and giving up two hits and no runs, Rasmussen would contribute another three solid innings of work, only surrendering two additional runs. Rasmussen also saw success from the other side of the plate, earning an RBI single to right field in the third inning.
Rasmussen acknowledged that giving up six runs in the first inning of game two was costly but also said that the Yeowomen are certainly capable of overcoming such adversity.
“Those six runs definitely put us at a disadvantage, but I think the whole team knows that we can come back from that,” she said. “The game wasn’t lost after that, but I think that we all understand the importance of keeping the score low early in the game and want to focus on that in our future games.”
Because Ursuline’s home field has no lights, the second game was called off due o darkness in the fifth inning with a final score of 8–1 in the Arrows’ favor. Despite the Yeowomen’s offense being unable to find a rhythm, the team’s defense had a solid outing, recording three double plays in 12 innings of competition.
Wednesday’s pair of losses dropped the Yeowomen to 0–6 overall so far this season. However, with more than 30 games left in the season, the up-and-coming squad is optimistic about its prospects for the rest of the year.
Junior pitcher, game one starter and Review production editor Sami Mericle said that pitch selection was one area of improvement for the Yeowomen moving forward.
“We’ve been working on pitch selection in practice, but that’s something that we could definitely improve,” Mericle said. “And as our coach pointed out after the game, we need to work on making in-game adjustments to fix whatever is going wrong.”
Head Coach Sara Schoenhoft also contributed that her young squad has tons of potential and that fixing the little things will be the difference-maker in their season.
“Going forward, we are going to continue to work on the physical and the mental aspects of hitting, as well as working on making adjustments against different pitchers and in different situations,” Schoenhoft said. “Our pitchers are going to keep challenging themselves in practice to perfect their spins and different pitches, and once we put everything together, good things will start to happen!”
The Yeowomen have more than a week for practice and rest, and will take the field Sunday, March 20, when they head down to Clermont, FL for spring break to play 12 games in a week.