Baseball, Softball Find Success During Spring Break Trips


Photos courtesy of Steve Schooner

The Yeomen took their first trip to Arizona since 2019.

Oberlin’s diamond sports teams traveled to warm climates for spring break for a week full of games. The baseball team headed to Tucson, AZ, while the softball team went to Clermont, FL. Both teams picked up multiple wins during their trips and got a lot of work in ahead of conference play in April.

Baseball Shines in the Desert

The Yeomen played seven games in Arizona, going 4–3 over the week. They started off with a high-scoring win over the California Institute of Technology before dropping both games of a double-header against Saint John’s University. The team bounced back with a rematch win against Caltech and finished the week with a win over Wesleyan University and a two-game split against Carleton College.

Fourth-year Jacob Thompson came through big on offense for Oberlin as he went 8–15 overall, with two triples in the second matchup against Caltech that ended in the seventh by mercy rule. Second-year Max Cairo went 6–18 and collected eight RBIs over the week with his biggest moment being a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning of the first Caltech game.

On the other side of the ball, Oberlin struggled with pitching and defense during the week, but it did have one dominant pitching performance from third-year Vince Dolcemaschio. The righthander tossed a complete game in the seven-inning contest against Caltech, allowing four hits, no walks, and just one unearned run to help lead the Yeomen to victory. The performance earned him a North Coast Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week Award. Dolcemaschio believes he played well while working with fourth-year catcher John Schooner.

“We had a good game plan going into the game in terms of sequencing and what kind of pitches we wanted to throw,” Dolcemaschio said. “It just came down to executing.”

Dolcemaschio, a California native, said it was not as warm in Tucson as the team anticipated, but that the week was still a highlight of the season.

“[The trip] was awesome,” he said. “For me personally, baseball is my passion and number-one priority. Being able to only focus on baseball without the burden of school or homework was a pleasure. I wish every week could be like that.”

The Yeomen picked up four wins, but Dolcemaschio feels the team could have posted an even better record in Arizona.

“We definitely let a couple games get away from us but we won’t dwell on it,” he said. “We’ll learn from the mistakes we made and move forward confidently. We have the right group of guys to make some noise this year in our conference.”

Oberlin is certainly poised to have a better season than last year when it went 7–29. After a win over Muskingum University on Tuesday after returning to Ohio, this year’s squad now sits at 6–6 overall. The Yeomen look to keep momentum going as they start conference play tomorrow with a home double-header against The College of Wooster.

Softball Battles in the Swamp

Oberlin’s softball team played eight games in central Florida — going 3–5 over that span. The team started off with losses to Grinnell College and Lawrence University but defeated Keuka College twice in the first half of the week. The Yeowomen then lost to the University of Wisconsin-Plattville, Colby College, and Middlebury College but picked up a close win against Washington and Jefferson College in the second portion of the week. The wins were the Yeowomen’s first of the season under Head Coach Julie Pratt.

The Yeowomen had trouble pitching during the week, which led to some tough losses. Still, third-year Katie Austin had a nice week on the mound, tossing complete games while allowing three runs or less in two of her four appearances.

On offense, Oberlin had several standouts. Third-year Alaina Di Dio went 15–25 with nine RBIs to lead her team. Di Dio’s scorching hot week earned her the NCAC Athlete of the Week Award. First-year catcher Kailey Dunham had a nice week going 10–23 while first-year Maria Chutko went 15–28 over the week. Chutko has embraced learning from coaches this season, but also values putting in work on her own to stay in good form.

“If I think there is something I could work on a little extra, I’ll take some time outside of practice to get reps in off a tee,” Chutko said.

Chutko carries an optimistic attitude on the field, which has allowed her to adjust well to the college game as a first-year player.

“I think that just playing to have fun has helped me,” she said. “It helps take extra pressure off during game time and reminds me that I am playing a sport that I have grown up loving, even if it is now at a higher level. Our upperclassmen do a good job of making us feel comfortable on the field as well.”

Like Dolcemaschio, Chutko values the intensive sport-focused environment of the trip and believes they still have work to do.

“I think the amount of softball we played allowed us to get lots of reps in a short amount of time to help us in preparation for the season,” she said. “The weather in Florida was amazing and we were able to play against some teams that we have never seen before. I have faith that we will see more wins as conference games come along, but our games in Florida have made us aware of our strengths and weaknesses for our future play. Coach Pratt has a lot of experience with the game of softball, and I think that she will take what she examined from our play in Florida and plan out what she wants us to work on.”