After beginning conference play over the weekend, the Hillsdale College softball team split doubleheaders against Trevecca Nazarene University and Kentucky Wesleyan University, leaving the Chargers 2 – 2 in the conference and 8 – 8 overall on the season.
The first conference game against Trevecca remained scoreless until the fourth inning, when sophomore shortstop Sam Catron hit a solo home run, followed by another home run in the fifth inning from freshman catcher Madison Stoner.
“They’re both showing us power, which our team desperately needs because as long as we’re not getting the RBI singles and doubles, we need some people to hit some home runs,” head coach Joe Abraham said.
The final run of the game came in the seventh inning, when an RBI single from junior outfielder Katie Kish scored freshman outfielder Sarah Wojcik. Freshman Erin Hunt pitched a shutout, allowing only four hits and striking out six over the course of the game.
The Chargers ended the day with a split after falling to Trevecca 5 – 0 in the nightcap. Trevecca took an early lead after putting up two runs in the second and third inning.
The Chargers secured a second conference victory against Kentucky Wesleyan
Sunday 3 – 2, with two runs from Kish and one run from junior second baseman Amanda Marra. Senior third baseman Jessica Taylor went 2-for-3 in the victory, and Catron went 2-for-4.
Kentucky answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but Hunt once again secured the victory from the pitcher’s circle, striking out eight batters in seven innings of work. Her two pitching performances of the weekend earned her a place as the G-MAC Pitcher of the Week.
“She shut down two really good hitting teams,” Abraham said. “But for one pitch, she would’ve had two shutouts.”
The Chargers fell to Kentucky Wesleyan 9 – 1 in the closer. Although Hillsdale scored once in the top of the first inning, Kentucky jumped to an early lead with two three-run innings.
Kish had an 8-for-15 weekend, and her overall average of .509 puts her third in G-MAC batting rankings.
“Katie Kish had a great weekend, and Amanda Marra hit well. Jessica Taylor hit the ball pretty well too, but we’re still looking for a number of our hitters to come around,” Abraham said. “Katie’s getting on base and Amanda’s doing a good job of getting on behind her, and too often, we’re just not doing anything with them. Once we get that rolling, we’re going to win a lot more games than we’re winning now.”
Abraham said more Charger bats would need to come alive to secure success in the second half of the season. Across all four games, the Chargers scored seven runs total.
“We aren’t getting those big offensive innings,” sophomore outfielder Victoria Addis said. “We’ll get one or two, but we don’t have those big innings with four runs. We’re just not getting consistent hits one after the other.”
The team will play their first home games of the season Friday at 3:30 P.M. against Ohio Valley University.
“I think overall, we had a pretty standard first conference weekend,” junior utility player Carly Gouge said. “We’re still kind of getting to know our team and getting into the swing of things, but we’re all really excited to play at home this weekend.”