Softball team sweeps Midway in four games in Senior Day series

Written By Michael Richter

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photo courtesy of Samantha Robinson
Senior catcher Lauren Favola gave the Pioneers a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the second game in a double-header against Midway College.

Last week, the Point Park softball team compiled six wins easily, which improved the team’s conference record to 21-7 and its overall record to 28-14.

On April 15, the Pioneers swept Waynesburg in a doubleheader.

In game one, the Pioneers defeated Waynesburg 9-0 in five innings. Pitcher Kate Reese started the game for Point Park. Reese limited the Waynesburg offense to two hits in her three-inning outing. Megan Dyer took the mound in the fourth and finished the final two innings. She didn’t give up any hits, walks or runs.

In game two, Point Park beat Waynesburg 11-7. With the game tied at seven in the final inning of the game, the Pioneers racked up four runs to secure the victory.

The Pioneers hosted the Midway Eagles in a four-game series on April 17-18.

In the first game, Pioneers’ left fielder Taylor Geary and shortstop Becca Babincak batted three times, and the rest of the team’s order batted twice in the opening inning against KIAC foe Midway. The Pioneers scored 14 runs that inning.

“We hit the ball well against Midway,” said Point Park head coach Michelle Coultas. “Their defense struggled to make routine plays, and we took advantage of their errors.”

Geary and Babincak commenced the first inning hit parade with singles, then third basewoman Gabi Vogt slugged a three-run home run to left field. A few plays later, second basewoman Natalie Zivic hit a double to right field, which scored first basewoman Karen Mao.

Then, Babincak and Vogt hit RBI-singles. Mao and Alyssa McMurtrie capped off the offensive explosion with homers.

Throughout that first inning, each of the Pioneers recorded at least one hit, and the Eagles committed two errors. After that 14-run inning, the Pioneers didn’t score another run, retaining a 14-1 lead for the win in five innings.

In the second game against Midway, Point Park heavily outmatched its opponent in every facet of the game. Pioneers pitchers Reese and Michaela Lewis-Lambert combined to allow the Eagles only one run in a 8-0 Point Park triumph.

Prior to the second day’s games, Point Park’s senior players Dyer, Reese, Mao, Zivic, Vogt, Audrey Eisentrout, Lauren Fevola, Nikki Eagan and Sarah Urchek were honored over the PA for Senior Day.

“It was so surreal and bittersweet,” Mao said of Senior Day. “I’m extremely excited to begin my post-college and softball life, to see what I’ve learned, and what I’m going to do with it. But of course, it’s extremely sad to be closing a chapter of your life that’s been so pivotal for the majority of your living.”

McMurtrie, who has close relationships with her senior teammates, is sad to see the seniors move on from Point Park.

“We have a great team and get along really well,” McMurtrie said. “And I don’t want to see them go.”

Catcher Jessica Beitler believes the departing seniors will give the team holes that need to be addressed immediately.

“Having so many seniors leave that were a vital part of the team means a lot of rebuilding for next year,” Beitler said.

In games three and four, the Pioneers defeated the Eagles 11-1 in both games, respectively.

Game four started out similar to the first game of the series. In the inaugural inning, Point Park scored 10 runs. Geary started the elongated inning with a homer on a 2-1 pitch.

Babincak closed off the 10-run outburst. As she approached the plate, her teammates in the dugout chanted repeatedly, “Make it rain, six! Make it, make it rain, six!”

Six made it rain.

Babincak hit a three-run homer over the left-center section of the fence to give the Pioneers a 10-0 lead. The Pioneers never let go of that lead.

The Pioneers currently rank second in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC), which would mean they would play the No. 7 seed in the conference tournament. The seventh ranked team in the KIAC is currently Midway.

The KIAC tournament begins April 24. However, the Pioneers are attempting to schedule a game prior to the tournament for extra preparation. So far no games have been announced.

“I’d say it’s pretty much up for grabs,” McMurtrie said regarding the KIAC tournament. “We have a pretty good shot at winning it.”

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