Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Softball Beats Yellow Jackets, Looks Ahead to Senior Day

Right after losing their first game of the day last Sunday 1–0 to Baldwin Wallace University, the Oberlin softball team knew that the second game of their double header was winnable, but they’d have to raise their level.

Led by fourth-years Alaina Di Dio and Katie Austin, the team stormed back from a late four-run deficit in the final inning to steal the second game from the Yellow Jackets 9–7. 

“That [first game] was a heartbreaker, especially because we knew we could win that game and that [they were] a very beatable team,” Di Dio said. “So then when we came out strong in the second game and won, it was great not only to have another win in our record, but also knowing that we beat Baldwin Wallace and avenged our first game.”

Austin was an X factor for the Crimson and Gold, earning her second win of the season as a pitcher while recording two hits and two runs batted in the batter’s box. Her performance was key to the team’s ability to gut out a gritty win.

“[The game] was a lot of fun,” Austin said. “I felt like it really allowed me to go out with a bang as we approach our final game of the season. It was really exciting. We got the dugout super hyped up. There was so much energy. And I think that really contributed to us being able to string together a bunch of hits and then shut it down in the last inning to secure our win.”

Di Dio also credited the dugout for creating an electric environment that encouraged those on the field to keep the momentum going and put together an unlikely comeback. After the team earned two hits and the Yellow Jackets switched their pitchers, there was a palpable shift in the energy that was started by Head Softball Coach Julie Pratt.

“We really were wanting … to come back and score, and they switched their pitcher out, and we got our first two runners on, which really kind of helped to set in motion what happened that inning,” Di Dio said. “And then [Coach Pratt] actually turned to the dugout, and she yelled something like, ‘Team, get up, cheer, and for those who are able, stand up, cheer. You guys are so quiet. I need energy.’ And I think that’s what really pushed us, because then once the dugout started going crazy and cheering and everything, the hits just got strung together and we started really scoring.”

The team has faced a range of challenges throughout the season, from players suffering from injuries to losing nine games by just one or two runs. Nonetheless, the team has persevered to notch key wins against top teams, including conference rivals Hiram College. Now, as Di Dio and Austin ready themselves for their final games in college, they are staying focused on the task at hand.

“There’s so many thoughts [heading into the last games], but I really think I’ve been focusing on just having fun and really living in the moment,” Austin said. “I know that this is our last chance to play together as a team and actually be on the field and not on the sidelines, and so [I’m] really enjoying that time and making sure that we can make the most of it.”

Di Dio said even though the team can’t get into the conference championship, they have a little extra motivation to win against Wittenberg University.

“I know [Wittenberg] is tournament-eligible right now. So if we beat them, we’d have the potential to knock them out of the conference tournament, which would be awesome,” Di Dio said. “I think this season, we didn’t get as many conference wins as we would have hoped. So it’d be really great to kind of have that power and have that effect to knock them out at the end.”

Di Dio and Austin will take the field for the last time as Yeowomen tomorrow in a doubleheader at 1 pm and 3 pm. The last home games of the year will also be the team’s Senior Day games, which will honor the careers of Di Dio, Austin, Mia Brito, and Gina Lombard, the team’s graduating fourth-years. 

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