Women’s Softball Balances Wins and Losses in First Spring Tournament

Samantha Dudzinski, Staff Writer

The Yeowomen started off their season with a four-game tournament at Centre College in Kentucky last weekend. The Yeowomen won two games against Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, while losing two more against the home team Centre on Saturday and against Spalding University on Sunday. That 2–2 showing is the Yeowomen’s best record to start a season since 2003.

On Saturday, the Yeowomen’s first game against Centre resulted in a 2–5 loss. First-year Katie Pieplow took the loss on the mound, allowing five hits and four earned runs. Despite good hitting for the Yeowomen, they could not move their base runners around, leaving six runners left on base. Offensively, Oberlin saw good days at the plate from sophomore Emily King (two hits, one RBI), first-year Jenifer Goldsmith (two hits, one RBI) and sophomore Kelsey Steiner (one hit, one run).

Their second game was a 10–2 win against Rose-Hulman. King went the distance, pitching all seven innings, with four strikeouts and only allowing one earned run and zero walks. In addition to her efforts on the mound, King went 2–4 at the plate with one run. Adding to the heavy hitting was Goldsmith (three hits, two runs, four RBIs), and Pieplow (two hits, two runs, two RBIs). This was first-year coach Mimi Mahon’s first career win.

On Sunday, the Yeowomen returned to face Spalding College in a game they lost 0–8. King took the loss by allowing eight hits, eight runs, and five walks in five innings. Again, Oberlin’s five hits were not enough to allow them to muster out a win; six runners were left on base. Despite the shutout, both King and senior Kristen Dix had two hits.

During the fourth and final game of the tournament, the Yeowomen faced Rose-Hulman, who were out for revenge. But big hitting gave Oberlin its second win of the trip against the Fightin’ Engineers. Down 2–5 in the third inning, the Yeowomen were able to find their bats and produce seven runs in the fourth inning. The six-hit rally started with a double by senior Katie Baldonieri. The Yeowomen then added two more base-runners with walks by Dix and Pieplow. Junior Cheryl Lindsly singled to hit in the first of seven runs in the inning. Big hitting was the name of the game with King (three hits, two runs, two RBIs), Goldsmith (three hits, one run, three RBIs), and Lindsly (four hits, two runs, and one RBI).

Goldsmith, who had eight hits on the weekend, thought the team’s debut went well: “I think we performed really well in Kentucky. The amount of time we put into hitting in the off-season really showed.”

The Yeowomen continued their early-season road trip on Wednesday by visiting Angola, IN, to face Trine University. The Yeowomen dropped both games in the double-header.

The Yeowomen had just three hits in the first game, a 9–1 loss. The team’s only run came in the second inning. Lindsley reached first after being hit by pitch. Senior Kristine Kuchta was able to reach first on a mishandled ball by Trine’s catcher. In the same play, Trine was unable to recover and eventually allowed Lindsly to score on a throwing error.

The second game resulted in another loss, this time 8–1. King pitched six innnings for the Yeomen, allowing eight hits and walking two batters. A careless first inning ended up being the Yeowomen’s undoing in this one. They allowed seven runs off of just four hits, thanks to two fielding errors. Oberlin’s lone run came in the fifth inning when King hit her first homerun of the season.

In spite of the 2–4 record to start the season, Goldsmith remains excited.

“[I] look forward to our bats and aggressive base running bring[ing success] across this season.”

The Yeowomen will return to action on Monday, March 19 at Franciscan University before they hit the warm weather of Orlando, Florida for their spring break training trip.