Softball Misses Victory Against Allegheny by a Hair
by Jesse Aron

The Oberlin softball team got a boost of confidence last week, then fell just shy of pulling off their first conference victory this week.
“It was a great game — I thought we had them,” Head Coach Jane Wildman said the day after a heart-breaking 4-3 loss to Allegheny College in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. The Yeowomen played arguably their best conference game of the season coming off a sweep of Lake Erie the week before in a non-conference doubleheader.
In the first Allegheny game, the team scored three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 3-2 lead in the game. The inning was highlighted by first-year catcher Julia Daher’s double down the left field line that scored the tying and go-ahead runs.
“Down 2-1, and with runners on second and third, I was just trying to make solid contact,” Daher said of her go-ahead hit.
However, Allegheny got back in the game quickly. In the bottom of the fifth the Gators tied it up on a sacrifice fly after the runner had been advanced to third on a bunt. Playing more small ball in the sixth, Allegheny took advantage of a leadoff single and bunted her over to second. She then stole third, and eventually came home on a throwing error. Oberlin failed to rally in the top of the seventh and dropped their fifth conference game in a row.

“They were bunting well and we just didn’t get the outs when we needed them,” Wildman said. Senior Dawn Sweeny took the loss on the mound, pitching six innings and giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. Sweeny also went one for three at the plate, stole a base, and scored on Daher’s double in the fourth.
Daher stated that she thought this was the Yeowomen’s strongest performance in a conference game, citing the team’s consistency throughout the day, as well as their multiple contributions. “Everyone had a real solid performance. Sometimes we have one really bad inning, but this time we didn’t.”
The second game of the afternoon took a turn for the worse as Oberlin lost to Allegheny 15-0. That loss dropped the Yeowomen to 0-6 in the NCAC, and 3-12 overall.
“Our pitchers were tired and their offense exploded,” Wildman said simply. Oberlin was only able to muster three hits in that game, with Sweeny taking the loss on the hill again.
“We were maybe a little frustrated after the first game,” Daher said. “We have issues with our pitching depth and they were just hitting the gaps,” she continued.

Allegheny’s offensive production hit its peak in the bottom of the fourth inning when they scored eight runs. The home team was led again by Fuduric who went three for three, scored two, and had five runs batted in.

The sweep at Allegheny came on the heels of a trip to Lake Erie last Thursday in which the Yeowomen picked up their second and third wins of the season. Oberlin scored 20 runs in the first game, and posted 16 in the second, besting Lake Erie’s four and six respectively. Coach Wildman was excited about the wins.

“It was fun,” she said, “It was really good for us to get some confidence.”

First-year Jamie Johnson agreed that the Lake Erie games gave the team confidence, and said that their “energy has been way up” recently. “We’ve also been playing well as a team,” she said.

Despite being swept by Allegheny, the Yeowomen feel that the momentum of the Lake Erie games, coupled with the strong showing in game one of the doubleheader Wednesday, will propel them to good outings in the future.

Feeling good about the weekend, the team begins to prepare for a busy couple of days as they host a doubleheader against Wooster on Saturday, and another against Wittenberg on Sunday. Both games are scheduled for 1 p.m.

April 19
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