The Shippensburg University softball team (14-8) won three out of its four games this weekend against Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
However, the Raiders’ lone loss this weekend resulted in the team losing first place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division.
After a weekend full of dominant hitting, the Raiders’ bats fell silent in the final game of the weekend against UPJ.
The Raiders scored two runs in the game’s first two innings, continuing their stretch of strong offensive showings at the plate. However, UPJ made a pitching change and SU’s bats went cold. After totaling two runs on five hits in the game’s first two innings, the team finished the game with two runs and five hits total.
Shippensburg’s starter, senior Taryn Wilson, was able to keep the team in the lead for much of the game before falling apart in the final inning. An error in the field by junior Kayla Bonawitz, combined with a wild pitch by Wilson, resulted in UPJ scoring two runs in the final frame to win the game 3–2. Wilson (6–5) finished the game allowing three runs (two earned) and eight hits in six and two-thirds innings while picking up the loss.
Outside of Sunday’s final game against UPJ, the Raiders dominated their competition by clubbing the baseball all around the diamond and continuing their season-long trend of excellent hitting.
The Raiders’ bats exploded for a combined 24 runs on 27 hits in their Saturday doubleheader against IUP. Sophomore Courtney Coy and freshman Hannah Marsteller continued to lead the way at the dish for SU. Coy hit 6-for-8 with five RBIs and two doubles against IUP. Marsteller hit 5-of-9 with two home runs, seven RBIs and two doubles.
The opening game of the doubleheader against IUP was close until the Raiders blew it open with a seven-run third inning. Five different players tallied an RBI in this inning as the team batted around, bringing 12 hitters to the plate.
The Raiders added on five more runs in the game’s final frame, three of which came on Marsteller’s second home run of the game, to defeat IUP 15–4.
The second half of the doubleheader against IUP was much of the same for Shippensburg. The game was close, with IUP holding a 1–0 lead for the game’s first four innings before the Raiders’ bats came alive.
SU scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 3–1 lead. Coy, Marsteller and junior Meghan Klee each knocked a run in during the team’s big inning. Wilson, however, allowed two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at three.
The Raiders took advantage of a fielding error by IUP in the sixth inning to score five runs and take control of the game. From there on out, the team powered forward, going on to win, 9–3.
Shippensburg continued its good hitting in the opening half of Sunday’s doubleheader against UPJ, defeating the Mountain Cats 7–3. However, the Raiders got off to a rough start by falling behind 3–0 in the first inning. Freshman Tressa Kagarise (8-1) eventually calmed down on the mound, shutting out the opposing bats the rest of the game.
The Raiders were not able to take the lead until the fifth inning, when they scored five runs to take a lead that they would hold for the rest of the game. Courtney Coy was the star of the inning for the Raiders, hitting a grand slam to put the team out in front. The Raiders ended up winning the game 7-3.
The Raiders — due mostly to their success at the plate — currently sit in second place in the PSAC Eastern Division. They are third in the conference in batting average (.324) and second in slugging percentage (.469).
Leading the way for Shippensburg is Coy, who is second in the conference in both batting average (.513) and slugging percentage (.863). The sophomore has four home runs, 29 RBIs and a conference-leading 16 doubles.
Coy, along with Marsteller, form a formidable one-two punch for the Raiders that has resulted in the team being one of the top hitting teams in the nation. Marsteller is hitting .333 and is tied for the conference lead in home runs (six) to go with 24 RBIs.
Up next for the Raiders is a big doubleheader on the road against PSAC rival West Chester University (18–10) to open up conference play on Saturday afternoon.