The SRU women’s softball team brought its season to a close last weekend with a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-West doubleheader at the top ranked NCAA Division II Atlantic Region California University of Pennsylvania.
In both games, the Lady Vulcans bested the Green and White.
Game one saw a final score of 11–2 in a five-inning mercy rule.
SRU struggled at the plate, going 5–19 (.263). Three of those hits came off the bat of junior Emily Lobdell.
Freshman Katie Kaiser went one for two at the plate, hitting her fifth and final home run of the season to bring in SRU’s only two runs.
Sophomore Ashley Knight pitched 2.2 innings, giving up six runs and walking three.
Senior Amy Erickson pitched the rest of the game, giving up five runs and striking out one.
Knight is credited with the loss and finished the season with a record of 10–13 (.435)
Game two saw a couple more hits for the Rock (7–30), but overall the team struggled more so than in game one (.233).
Cal-U held a steady lead into the top of the sixth by a score of 3–0 prior to a string of hits that the Rock managed to put one after another.
Kaiser doubled to the deep outfield, followed by singles by senior Jenna Geibel and junior Breanna Tongel.
Sophomore Alaynna Beers connected for a bases-clearing double, bringing the score to a 3–3 tie.
After the sixth inning excitement, SRU would surrender three runs to the Lady Vulcans and were unable to regain any ground.
Tongel went 2–3 in the game and accounted for one of SRU’s three runs. Beers went 1–2 at the plate and tallied three RBIs.
Lobdell struck out five in the game and is credited with the loss. Her record now ends the season at an even 6–6 (.500).
Slippery Rock finishes the season with an overall record of 16–20 (.444) and 7–5 in the PSAC West.
With a total of 25 players on the team, four will be graduating at the end of this spring semester including Saluga (catcher), Erickson (pitcher), Geibel (third base), and Jessica Shroyer (third base).
“With Geibel and Saluga graduating we have two huge bats leaving the team. The seniors will all be greatly missed. They were all an asset on offense and defense,” Tongel said about her graduating teammates. “We won’t be packing as many home runs next year, but we’ll be able to find someone who can get on base and get base hits.”
In a season where the team missed the playoffs and was sub .500 in their overall record, the Rock had a few individual standouts, as well as a strong appearance collectively at the plate.
Overall, the team batted .300, which placed them sixth overall in the PSAC.
Saluga led the team with an average of .434, which gave her the fifth highest overall batting average in the PSAC to accompany her slugging percentage of .736.
Saluga was also third in the PSAC with 56 hits and fifth in the PSAC with nine home runs, leading her teammate Geibel by two home runs, as she held tenth place in the PSAC.
Knight pitched the eighth most innings in the PSAC (130.1) and had the eighth most strikeouts (103).
Both Knight, as well as Lobdell, only allowed one sacrifice fly by opposing batters for the entire season.
“The needs aren’t many (for next season), since this season has been very successful, but the experience and maturity from our underclassmen will definitely bring us more wins next season,” assistant coach Stacey Rice said.
“This season has been great to watch the girls grow and mature. They have learned that they’re never out of any game. We will continue to work on our mental focus; if we can continue to do that, the wins will take care of themselves.”
The Green and White is currently in fourth place in the PSAC, behind Cal, Gannon University, and Edinboro University.