The Springfield College softball team’s bats were red hot as they swept a conference doubleheader at Wheaton, beating the Lyons 16-1 in the opener before defeating them 10-0 in the second game that was shortened to five innings on Friday. After starting out the season 0-3 against conference opponents, the Pride have now won three straight in conference play.
In the first game of the doubleheader the Pride offense exploded for sixteen runs and provided more than enough run support for pitcher Talia Loda who was dominant in the circle. Springfield got off to a quick start scoring four runs before Loda even took the mound as Shelby Allen produced an RBI single. Three batters later, catcher Gabby Alfieri lined a two-run single to left to give the Pride a 3-0 lead. Springfield tacked on one more run thanks to one of Wheaton’s eight errors.
After adding single runs in the second and fourth, the Pride broke the game open in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, the Pride were the benefactors of two more Lyon’s errors which ultimately led to an Allie Wheeler single that drove in one run. However, both seniors Kirsten Drobiak and Carianna Gasdia scored on an error by Wheaton’s second basemen.
The Pride dropped an eight spot in the top of the seventh inning. After an error loaded up the bases Gasdia singled in two runs. The next hitter was Drobiak, and she proceeded to hit a three-run homerun further extending the Pride lead. To close the scoring the Pride got a two-run single from Meghan Sastram and an RBI single from Rachel Ball.
Despite pounding out seventeen hits and having arguably the best offensive performance something that may be lost on this game was the superb pitching from senior Talia Loda. She pitched her eighth complete game today going all seven innings allowing just six hits while allowing only one run improving her record to 7-3 on the year.
If the team going to be successful going forward, outings like these are huge from Loda, who is one of, if not the best, pitchers in New England.
In game two it was more of the same for the Pride as they pounded out sixteen hits in route to a 10-0 win in a game shortened to five innings. Once again, the Pride got off to a quick start, this time before Allen even threw a pitch. Just three batters in, Springfield jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Drobiak hit an RBI double. Three batters later, Alexyss Conley came through with a sac fly, which was then followed up by a two-run double for Sastram.
What might be one of the best all-around performances of the season thus far belongs to Allen who got the start on the mound. Not only did she shutout the Lyons over five innings to improve to 6-2 on the season, but she also helped her cause going 3-4 with four runs batted in. Allen, as she has all season, proved not only is she a more than capable pitcher, but that she joins Loda in the category of “Pitchers Who Rake”.
On a day where the offense exploded the biggest performance of the day has to go to Allen. Not only did she throw a shutout in game two but also collected five hits over the two games, to go along with six RBI’s. Also on the theme of pitching, Loda delivered another ace like pitching performance shutting down the Lyons offense. Outside of Allen, offensively the stars of the day have to be the seniors Gasdia and Drobiak. In the doubleheader Gasdia had six hits, while driving in three, and scoring six times, while Drobiak had six hits, and drove in four while scoring five runs on the day.
This was a big NEWMAC sweep for Springfield as they now improve to 15-5 on the season, but more importantly, 3-3 in the conference after starting 0-3. If the Pride keep getting the pitching from Loda and Allen, combined with a deep lineup look for them to keep the winning streak in the NEWMAC alive. The Pride return to action tomorrow to host Wellesley in a doubleheader beginning at noon at Potter Field.
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics.