By Tyler Browne
The Springfield College softball team was defeated 10-0 by Wheaton in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader before rebounding in a 9-2 victory in the second. The doubleheader, played on a beautiful afternoon, marked the final home games of the Pride’s truncated season.
The second game victory was highlighted by the strong pitching of Ashley Pugliese, who earned a complete game win.
“Ashley pitched so good today, she was amazing and we had her back out there,” said second baseman Alli Olsen.
In the first game, the Pride did not get a single hit, and the game ended in the sixth inning, when the 8-run mercy rule was enforced.
“We just reflected and said we needed to play Springfield College softball. In the first game, we didn’t. We needed to flip the switch, change our attitude, we need to reflect on that first game. We can’t forget it.” said coach Kate Bowen.
The team certainly took their coach’s advice and reflected on the defeat. Olsen served as a spark plug for the Pride, leading off the bottom of the first inning with a single and eventually scoring the Pride’s first run. By the day’s end, Olsen was 3-4 with three runs scored.
“I felt good going into the second game. It was really a team effort. I knew I had my team behind me and I knew they were coming up after me to hit me in,” said Olsen.
Ava Fernandez was also 3-4 in the second game, and she drove in two runs. Not a single Springfield batter struck out in the latter game.
Pugliese was dominant in her first collegiate start. Through seven innings, she gave up just four hits and two runs, while striking out 13.
“I think Ashley is improving each game. She’s really settling in nicely. She’s gaining a lot of confidence on the mound and it’s great to see,” said Bowen.
And while Gillian Kane struggled in the circle during the first game, she played the entire second game at first base, going 1-3 and driving in a run.
“Gill just brings such great energy, such great leadership, either when she’s on the mound or at first. It’s something we like to be able to have on the field because we can always hear her voice, her energy is contagious, and she’s doing a really nice job for us up at the plate, too,” said Bowen.
The Pride will return to action on May 1, when it will travel to Emerson for the final two games of the season.