Softball Dominates Fighting Squirrels
The University of Mary Washington’s women’s softball team won both games of a doubleheader on Saturday against the Mary Baldwin College Fighting Squirrels. The Eagles dominated in both games winning 17-0 in the first and 5-0 in the second. The two wins improved the Eagle’s record to 7-13 on the year and ended a six-game losing streak. With the losses, Mary Baldwin began their season 0-2.
Mary Washington started out strong in the opening game, as they scored five runs in the first inning. Sophomore Brandee Adams scored first on a Mary Baldwin error, and freshman Bireet Chitty stole home in the inning as well. Sophomore Kerry Busby had her second home run of the season to put the Eagles up 3-0. Sophomore Katherine Preseren and junior Morgan Lamon were the final two to cross home in the inning. Preseren scored off a double by Lamon, and a single by junior Danielle Cunetta drove in Lamon.
“Whenever I’m stealing a base, my mind tends to go blank and my natural reaction is to just sprint until I have to get down and dirty,” Chitty said.
Mary Washington would score three more times in the second inning to push their lead to 8-0. However, the best was yet to come for the Eagles offense, as the game really got out of hand after a dominating fourth inning in which UMW scored nine runs and had 10 hits.
Cunetta had an impressive game on the mound, as she allowed no runs, surrendered just one hit, and recorded seven strikeouts while issuing zero walks. The game was shortened and declared over after Mary Baldwin failed to score in the top of the fifth inning, giving UMW the 17-0 win.
“The biggest reason for the success was we played like a team,” Chitty said. “We kept each other up, and we all stepped on the field this morning with the intention to give it our all.”
Busby led the Eagles in runs with three, and she also tied with Cunetta for the game high in hits with three as well. Busby ripped a single, a double, and a home run in the game, leaving her just a triple shy of the cycle. Mary Baldwin’s Rebekka Conz got the only hit for the Fighting Squirrels, while Mary Washington finished the game with 16 hits and 12 RBI.
“We really focused on staying up and focusing on one pitch at a time, which is pretty much our motto,” Busby said.
The second game of the double-header was a much closer contest, but Mary Washington still continued their strong play. Freshman Julianne Sweat and junior Nicole Black split the pitching duties and combined to shut out the Fighting Squirrels. Black tallied the win in relief, pitching four one-hit innings while striking out five batters.
UMW went up 1-0 in the first, but it was the fourth inning when the team scored four runs that sealed another win for the Eagles.
“I think our communication helped result in the wins,” Chitty explained. “But above all we showed a lot of improvement in our hitting, and I think that’s really what helped us win these games.”
Chitty recorded game highs in both runs (two) and hits (two), while junior Amanda Adams led UMW with two RBI.
“Everyone got done what needed to get done, everybody did their job on and off the field,” Busby said.
The Eagles hope the team’s recent success is not an aberration, but something they can build on going forward.
“We’re not satisfied with just these two wins, we want more,” Chitty said.
The softball team takes on Bridgewater College this afternoon, with the doubleheader getting underway at 3 p.m.