Despite Early Losses, Softball Optimistic for Season


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hilbert

The softball team gained experience in weekend trip to North Carolina.

This past weekend, Oberlin softball took a road trip to Raleigh, NC to compete in the Grand Slam Triangle Classic. The Yeowomen played four games against Greensboro College, Shenandoah University, William Peace University, and Ferrum College over two days. Despite losing all of these games, there were a lot of great performances across Oberlin’s roster and valuable lessons to learn going forward. Two of the four games were lost in extremely close fashion, with Greensboro besting the Yeowomen 4–2 and William Peace barely eking past with a 2–1 final score. 

First-year pitcher Hailey Alspach was a definite highlight of the weekend. Alspach was electric in her collegiate debut against Greensboro. With a total of 62 strikes on 106 pitches, she ended striking out an impressive five at bats and only walking two in the entire game. Alpasch was also clutch later on in the weekend, holding the William Peace Racers to only two runs in their Sunday matchup. 

“Even though we didn’t get the results that we were hoping for last weekend, we have already seen a ton of improvement compared to last year,” she said. “We have become an aggressive offensive team with a greater knowledge of how to handle certain defensive situations. Moving forward in the season, the team is really excited to see what we will be able to accomplish with everything we have learned. Hopefully, we’ll be able to show that this team is better at competing than last year and come out with more wins than before.”

Although the results were far from what the Yeowomen were hoping for, young players like Alspach have the team hopeful for the future. Third-year pitcher and first baseman Alaina Di Dio is extremely optimistic about the rest of softball’s season. 

“Although the outcome wasn’t what we had hoped for, we did a lot of really good things as a team,” Di Dio said. “We are coming out of the weekend knowing what we need to work on to win these close games and are ready to get back to work before our upcoming spring break trip to Florida. It is a long season, and the games this weekend were only the beginning. Overall, our team is feeling determined and excited for a new era of Oberlin College softball.”

The new era of Oberlin College softball shows a lot of promise. Newly appointed Head Softball Coach Julie Pratt joined Oberlin after two years as assistant coach at Case Western Reserve University, and her veteran knowledge of the game and 26 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level may steer the Yeowomen in the right direction. She believes the team gained valuable experience in North Carolina. 

“I saw a lot of great moments in each game,” Pratt said. “We have returned to campus having a list of things to work on to prepare us for our next competition. We are learning a new style of play and our thought and game knowledge showed in each game.” 

Clearly, the Yeowomen have a lot of potential going forward this season. Hopefully, they can harness it and turn the year around in their favor. The team hopes to find success in its next game at home this Monday, March 13 against Albion College.