The Shippensburg University softball team lost three of its four games on a season-opening weekend from Pembroke, North Carolina.
The Raiders began their season with a 10–5 win over the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNC Pembroke) on Saturday afternoon. The Braves got off to a 3-0 lead in the second inning before SU freshman starting pitcher Tressa Kagarise settled down.
Shippensburg broke open the game in the fourth inning, scoring eight runs that helped propel them to its first win of the season. The big inning featured two home runs by freshman catcher Hannah Marsteller and a two-run triple by junior Kayla Bonawitz.
Kagarise rebounded after giving up three runs in the second inning, pitching a complete game and giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits.
The Raiders totaled 11 hits in their victory to begin Saturday’s game, but their opponent in the night cap Saturday night — West Virginia State — held them to only one hit, while shutting them out 2–0. Senior Taryn Wilson picked up the loss for the Raiders, pitching a complete game while allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits. While Wilson was stellar on the mound, the offense could not find the spark that kicked off a 10-run outburst in its first showing of the season earlier that day.
SU continued its opening weekend on Sunday afternoon with a rematch against West Virginia State. After exploding for 10 runs in their opening game Saturday afternoon, the Raiders’ bats failed to show up in both games against the Yellow Jackets.
WVS defeated the Raiders 8–0 behind a good performance on the mound from Kasey Murphy, who gave up only four hits in the shutout win. Shippensburg freshman infielder Grace Palmieri went 2-for 2 against Murphy, proving to be the lone bright spot in the game for the Raiders.
Freshman Hannah Johnson began the game on the mound for the Raiders, but she did not last long. Johnson gave up five runs in 2 1/3 innings before being pulled from the game. Kagarise came into the game in relief and gave up three runs (two earned) in two innings of work.
In the Raiders’ final game of the weekend, they fell behind UNC Pembroke 7–0 before plating four runs in the game’s final two innings and falling 8-4.
Wilson, after pitching a gem on Saturday night against WVS, got hit around Sunday night against UNC Pembroke. She made it through 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs (six earned) in the loss.
The Raiders rallied at the plate on Sunday night, but it was a case of too little, too late. Bonawitz began the rally in the sixth inning, knocking in her third run of the weekend on a single. Freshman infielder Morgan DeFeo plated one of the team’s runs in the seventh inning. DeFeo finished opening weekend hitting .300 with three RBIs.
Shippensburg (1-3) continues its season on Feb. 15, when they begin the Snowbird Softball Freeze Out in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.