The Shippensburg University softball team (15-11, 1-1 PSAC) will look to improve after losing three out of four games this weekend.
The weekend began with a Saturday doubleheader on the road against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) rival West Chester University (22-13, 3-1 PSAC) to open up conference play for Shippensburg.
Shippensburg’s high-powered offense got off to a good start against West Chester, scoring at least one run in all but one inning in the team’s 8–4 win to open the doubleheader. The Raiders totaled 13 hits in their win over the Golden Rams.
The Raiders were led by a pair of freshmen, Morgan DeFeo and Morgan Fetter, who each tallied four hits in the win. DeFeo finished with an RBI and a double, while Fetter had three RBIs and two doubles.
West Chester did not go down without a fight, as it cut the SU lead to one run after scoring four in the fifth inning. Shippensburg’s starting pitcher, senior Taryn Wilson, was cruising through the WCU lineup, finishing with seven strikeouts. However, she got into trouble in the fifth inning when she gave up four runs and was pulled before she could finish the inning. The Raiders added two runs in the sixth and one run in the seventh to solidify their lead.
Freshman Hannah Johnson came in and shut the door on the Golden Rams, pitching two and two-thirds innings while giving up only one hit and recording the first save of her career.
West Chester’s bats came alive in the second game of the doubleheader, leading to a 10-2 win for the Golden Rams. West Chester senior Heidi McCollester led the way with a homer and eight RBIs, six of which came in Game 2 of the doubleheader.
Shippensburg’s freshman starting pitcher, Tressa Kagarise, had one of her worst outings of the season, giving up eight runs on six hits while walking five batters in just under four innings of work.
Shippensburg brought its struggles from Saturday’s second game into Sunday’s doubleheader against Caldwell University. The Raiders dropped both games on a cold, windy afternoon at Robb Field.
“We won Game 1 versus West Chester and then had a bad outing, and it seems like we let that carry into today and affect us,” coach Alison Van Scyoc said. “We’re going to see good teams over again and we have to figure out how to flush it and respond.”
The Raiders took a 1–0 lead on an RBI single from DeFeo in the third inning of Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader. They held that lead until the sixth inning, when Caldwell scored three runs to take a 3–1 lead.
It was not a good weekend for Kagarise, who followed up her bad start on Saturday with a slightly better outing on Sunday. She was handed the loss — her third of the season — while giving up five runs in just under seven innings of work.
Caldwell added two more runs in the seventh inning to increase its lead to 5–1. The Raiders fought back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs, before ultimately falling short and losing 5–4. Freshman Grace Palmieri had a two-RBI single in the inning.
The Raiders dropped the second game of the doubleheader against Caldwell, 6–4. The team’s bats could not come through all day on Sunday with runners in scoring position, resulting in a usually potent offense scoring only a combined eight runs on 19 hits against Caldwell.
Down 4–3 in the sixth, the Raiders had runners on second and third to begin the inning. However, the next three batters went down and they left the inning still down one run.
“I think we had games like today crossed over against Caldwell for that reason, to kind of go through those growing pains,” Van Scyoc said. “We are young but we have said all year long that we don’t like to use our youth as an excuse. I think that today was more about bringing the right energy and remaining positive for them to make the adjustments as opposed to youth, but I kind of assume it [the struggles] will happen along the way.”
Coming up for the Raiders are a pair of road doubleheaders against Lock Haven University (13-11, 2-2 PSAC) on Tuesday and Kutztown University (15-12, 2-2 PSAC) on Friday, followed by a home doubleheader on Saturday against Millersville University (15-18, 1-3 PSAC).