According to sophomore starting pitcher Madeline Skellie, the UR softball team has craved vengeance on Union College ever since the Dutchwomen took home the Liberty League title last year.
Thus, in addition to the fact that the Yellowjackets (20-12, 3-1 in the Liberty League) are once again in the hunt for the league crown, the Sunday, April 17 doubleheader with Union was no small matter for the home team.
Ultimately, UR won the first game, but fell short in the second in a series largely fueled by the efforts of new team members.
On the offensive side, the Yellowjackets started things early in game one. With two on base, freshman Nina Korn continued her red-hot hitting streak this season with a double to knock in both runners and put UR up, 2-0.
Korn returned to bat in the fifth, doubling as the leadoff hitter. Combined with singles by juniors M.C. Wagner and Katie McLean and four defensive errors by the Dutchwomen, UR lit up Union for four more runs.
Skellie delivered a clutch performance on the pitching end, finishing with nine strikeouts and three runs allowed in the 7-3 victory. When her team’s defense briefly fell apart by committing an error with two outs and two on base in the fifth, allowing a run, Skellie struck out the side to prevent any more damage
“I knew that as long as I made sure my pitches were working, our strong defense would take care of the rest.” Skellie said. “We hit well offensively, so that’s a big contributor to how I feel on the mound. I feel I pitch better and we play better when we have runs on the board.”
The Yellowjackets were the first to score in the second game as well. Korn drove in classmate Meg Hennessy from third on a first-inning groundout, and doubled later in the fifth to center field, driving in Hennessy once again. Korn trotted home herself on junior Natalie Sassaman’s double.
Unfortunately, Union pieced together their own late-game chain of hits to close the game out. After managing one run on three hits in the third, Union produced an insurmountable three runs off two hits and an error in the fourth. Union ultimately won the nightcap, 4-3.
UR heads to St. Lawrence University on Saturday, April 23.
Bates is a member of
the class of 2014.