By Jill Campbell
The Springfield College Pride softball team swept a doubleheader with Skidmore in walk-off fashion on Tuesday evening at Potter Field. The Pride defeated the Thoroughbreds 3-2 in the opener, and 7-6 in the following game.
After a tough pair of losses from MIT on Saturday, Springfield gained two back, improving its record to 15-9 on the season.
Talia Loda took to the circle for Springfield in the first game, and allowed just six hits and two runs. Offensively, the Pride had just two extra base hits – a double from Kirsten Drobiak and a homerun from Jenna Webb, her first of the season. Melissa Nelson also had a hot bat with two RBI singles.
Skidmore got started early in the first inning, scoring a runner from third after an illegal pitch from Loda.
The Pride struck back in the bottom of the third, when Nelson helped their cause by singling to left center and bringing Loda home.
The back and forth battle continued when Skidmore scored again in the following inning, courtesy of a series of singles and station-to-station ball.
The score evened out once again after a solo shot from Webb in the bottom of the sixth. Skidmore was unable to answer back in its next (and final) at bats.
The Pride once again found themselves trying to break a tie in the final hour. Their late life sparked into action and soon enough, they had put runners on the corners. Nelson, known for her late game heroics, stepped into the box and did what she does best. She connected with a pitch and send it to right field, scoring Kayla Padroff from third and securing the 3-2 win for Springfield.
The success of the second game was attributed largely to timely hitting from the Pride, who boasted five extra base hits – two from Drobiak, two from Webb, and the game winning double off the bat of Carianna Gasdia. Nicole Cring started in the circle, and allowed six hits and two runs in five innings of work. She was relieved by Shelby Allen, who allowed five hits, four runs, and earned her third win of the season.
Springfield jumped on the board first in the bottom of the third after Drobiak doubled to the right-center gap, followed by a base hit off the bat of Sam Cox to bring her home.
The Thoroughbreds retaliated in the top of the fifth with a two-run single, which was no match for the five runs the Pride would accumulate in the bottom of the inning. Webb doubled to start the rally and was hit home by another two-bagger from Drobiak. After a series of singles and an error, the score increased to 6-2.
However, things got interesting in the seventh when Skidmore tied it back up, forcing the Pride to bat again. Rachel Ball led off the inning and reached first on an error, representing the winning run. Gasdia then ripped a hot shot down the left field line and scored Ball to bring Springfield to an exciting 7-6 victory.
Head coach Julie Perrelli believes that the Pride was able to take the pair of losses at MIT and use them as fuel against Skidmore.
“The importance is getting our confidence back and knowing that we can play really well and win games. After taking those losses to MIT, I didn’t want it to deflate us at all. So coming back and getting these two was extremely important for that.”