The UR women’s softball team faced a tough road weekend series against Ursinus College and The College of New Jersey, returning winless but with a newfound motivation to overcome future challenges.
The Yellowjackets fell to Ursinus 1-5, after Ursinus took an early lead and carried it throughout the game. Senior centerfielder Val Palermo provided the team’s lone RBI off a fifth inning single. Freshman Kristina Long gave up five runs in six innings of work before being relieved by freshman Anne O’Brien in the seventh.
Coach Kris Shanley said, “We did not play to the level we want to play at,” noting UR errors at crucial times and a struggling defense. In the sixth inning a Yellowjacket error was responsible for the first of three runs let up in the inning. Shanley also mentioned challenges stringing together offense and matching up with the strong pitching of Ursinus.TCNJ also served up a strong showing against the Yellowjackets, sending UR home with a string of three tough losses.
UR played their closest game on Saturday. Despite outhitting TCNJ 9-8 UR didn’t capitalize on all of their opportunities and fell 7-4. Palermo, junior right fielder Melissa Arms, sophomore catcher Bridget Baran and sophomore third baseman Kristin Maloney each scored a run, all of which came in the second half of the game.
In the fifth inning, freshman shortstop Susan Zultanski singled down the right side and received an RBI when Arms crossed the plate. A throwing error allowed Baran to score and Zultanski to reach second. The inning’s scoring was capped by Maloney when she scored off of junior first baseman, Tracy Simon’s sacrifice fly on the next play.
The momentum shifted to UR after the top of the fifth when they pulled ahead of TCNJ 3-2, but the momentum was short-lived. In the bottom of the fifth, TCNJ scored three unearned runs off of no hits, three walks and two errors putting them ahead 5-3.
UR fought back in the sixth when Palermo scored off an RBI ground out to shortstop by Baran. That marked the end of the scoring for UR, while TCNJ went on to score two more insurance runs and win 7-4.
Freshman Jennifer Moshier gave up a pair of runs over four innings worth of work and O’Brien came on in relief to pitch two innings. In her two innings O’Brien gave up five runs – four of which were unearned – and was credited with the loss for the Yellowjackets.
Sunday’s first game was less eventful, with TCNJ dominating the scoreboard and shutting out the Yellowjackets 5-0. Long was given the start and let up all five runs in a game where UR just couldn’t get their offense on track.
The final game of the weekend was a bit closer for UR. The game was tight for the first three innings, but after that TCNJ pulled away and came up with a 7-2 win.
The scoring was started when Moshier laid down a successful bunt. Moshier later scored off an RBI single from Arms.
UR’s other run came when Palermo scored off of a double steal in the top of the fifth inning. O’Brien was given the loss after a four inning outing in which she gave up five earned runs.
Despite a bumpy weekend, the team still has promise and is dedicated to improving throughout the season.”TCNJ took advantage of our missed cues to score, to put pressure on us,” she said. Tightening up defense and getting more offensive production will be necessary in order for the Yellowjackets to enjoy future success this season.
The squad is working to improve on its practice regimen and overall preparedness as the Yellowjackets gear up for their important and game against Cazenovia College. UR hopes to reverse the unfavorable outcome from the 2002 matchup.
“Although we left this weekend without a win, as a team we feel that we can take a lot away from the games. We will hopefully take advantage of this to help us against Cazenovia on Saturday,” the co-captain Simon said.
With a 2-10 record UR is hungry for wins. Look for an inspired performance to get the team back on track when it travels to Cazenovia on Saturday. The Yellowjackets’ next home game is April 2 when they play host to SUNY Brockport. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Josephson can be reached at email@example.com.