The Pride softball team ended their season in good fashion with a sweep in a doubleheader over the Westfield State Owls, winning 8-0, 8-0. Both games ended in a mercy rule. Springfield used six home runs combined in both games to cruise to victory.
The first game was done within the bottom of the sixth inning, and the second one only lasted until the bottom of the fifth inning.
With the Pride entering the first game at 21-17 and 11-3 sitting atop the NEWMAC, they showed why they have been dominant as of late. Their non-conference rival, Westfield State, entered the day at 7-14 and 3-13 in the MESCAC.
In the first game, Springfield jumped on the Owls’ starting pitcher Caitlyn Kadlik very early. Senior Kelly Blake led off the bottom of the first with a double. With a sacrifice bunt down the third base line by Christina Leader, followed by an Owls’ bad throw to first, Kelly Blake was able to reach home for the first run.
The damage just kept coming for Kadlik. Senior Breann Joyce hit a two-run homer, and shortly after senior Chelsea Bender connected with a solo home run over the left field fence.
In the bottom of the third, Bender put another ball over the left field fence to make the score 6-0. Freshman Brielle Engelbrecht hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to bring the contest to an end.
Springfield’s 12 hits gave the Pride pitching a great cushion. Jen Joseph pitched four solid shutout innings, only allowing one hit. Joseph added eight strikeouts to go along with her solid performance.
Sophomore Caisie Cadorette came in to pitch in the fifth and shut down the Owls’ offense for the last two innings.
The second game was almost a copycat of the first tilt. Blake led off the Pride’s offense with a home run, which really set the tone for the rest of the team’s offense.
After Leader was out by a line drive to the Owls’ third baseman Kate Woishnis, the damage returned. A pair of freshmen, Melissa Nelson and Jenna Webb, singled to put runners at first and second.
Bender added to her stats with a single that scored Webb. Blake added another RBI in the bottom of the second to score junior Ally Rivelli.
With the scoreboard reading 3-0 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Pride decided to put the game away. Catcher Elizabeth Joseph worked a lead-off walk and Rivelli was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base with no outs.
The damage was done with two outs and two on. Nelson singled to right field to score Rivelli. The next batter up was Webb, and she took full advantage of the situation. Her three-run homer brought the score up to 7-0.
Rivelli singled in the bottom of the fifth to score Brittany Lally and put Westfield State out of their misery.
On the mound for the Pride was Ashley Marino. Her performance definitely met up to the expectations of Joseph’s in the first game. Marino only allowed one hit in five innings of work. She rattled the Owls’ bats with her outstanding pitch location. Only striking out three batters, Marino used the defense to her advantage.
Playing this dominant gives the Pride an even greater chance for success down the stretch.
“It’s always fun winning like this. We’re playing with confidence and having fun with it,” coach Julie Perrelli said.
The Pride have finished their regular season and are looking forward to the NEWMAC Championships this Saturday, April 27, which they are hosting on Potter Field. If the Pride continue with how they have been playing, no one can get in their way.
“We need to stick with the same game plan and just keep playing well,” Perrelli added.
The team is still waiting to hear who their opponents are for Saturday, as the games start at noon.