Softball opened their season with a 7-6 win over Wartburg College after a 9-3 loss to 18th ranked Trine University on Saturday at the Transylvania Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky.
On Sunday, the Tigers slipped to 1-3 and finished fourth overall at the Transylvania Tournament.
In the Tigers’ first game against Trine they fell behind 8-1 after two innings and were unable to overcome that deficit. On top of the loss, first-year shortstop Jordyn Fera got injured and had to leave the game.
“It’s hard seeing one of your teammates get injured,” senior captain Gabby Smart said. “But as a team we are always practicing at multiple positions to be able to adapt when the worst happens.”
In their lone win of the weekend, junior Megan Montgomery tripled and scored on first-year Alyssa Nowak’s sacrifice fly in the first inning, giving them a 1-0 lead. Wartburg fought back and had a 4-1 lead in the third, but the Tigers shortened the lead to 4-3 in the fourth. The Tigers recovered the lead in the top of the fifth, as junior Lauren Godden singled home Montgomery before junior Kathleen Byers scored Nowak with a bases loaded walk. First-year Julia Bork drove in Godden and sophomore, Sidney Holler with a double to center.
Wartburg cut the lead to 7-6 in the sixth, but the Tigers held on for the victory. Montgomery contributed three of DePauw’s 10 hits, while Byers had a set. First-year Devin Pieper closed the game out, picking up a relief win for the Tigers.
On Sunday, the Tigers continued their struggles against the tough competition and slipped to 1-3 after losses to Transylvania and Wartburg.
In the Transylvania game, the women were unable to overcome a huge six run outburst by Transylvania in the bottom of the fifth that led to the team’s 10-2 loss.
The Tigers bounced back and started strong with a 5-0 lead against Wartburg on Sunday. Holler’s first-inning single scored Nowak, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, senior captain Andi Sarkisian singled home Smart, and first-year Mina Shaw plated Sarkisian with a triple. Montgomery later brought in Shaw with a double.
The Knights fought back with three in the third on an RBI double and a two-run homer.
The Tigers pushed the lead to 7-3 in the fifth on back-to-back homers from Holler and sophomore Kat Panos. Wartburg’s Forsyth’s two-run homer in the fifth cut DePauw’s lead to 7-5, and the Knights gained four more in the sixth on an RBI single and a three-run blast.
Coach Hanrahan was impressed with how the team swung their bats but knows that they must improve their defense if they want to make strides this year.
“You can draw positives from any weekend,” Hanrahan said. “This weekend the offense started powerfully and is just a little ahead of our defense.”
The Knights took the win by one run. “After this weekend, we know exactly what needs to improve, and we have a clear vision of where we want to go from here. It’s nice knowing that everyone is on the same page and that we are feeling strong as a team,” Sarkisian said.
Traveling to Kentucky was an opportunity for the Tigers to play some strong competition in the Midwest. “I would rather play against great teams and learn to be great than beat up against average teams,” Coach Hanrahan said.
DePauw is back in action on Saturday, March 11, at third-ranked East Texas Baptist before taking on top-ranked Texas-Tyler on March 12.