Softball Looking to Make Some Noise

Michael Hellmueller, Managing Editor

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The softball Panthers opened up their season this past weekend in Alabama playing in the Charger Chillout, and they were more than ready.

The Panthers had six tough games against quality opponents culminating in a contest with the 5th ranked team in the nation Wayne State. However, before the ladies got to that game, they had to deal with some adversity.

They opened up the tournament trailing 3-0 before battling back to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The comeback came from one swing of the bat from junior Mackenzie Weedman, tying the game on her three-run homerun. Senior Josalyn Ress threw all eleven innings as the Panthers had to tie the game two times in extra innings before freshman Courtney Lockwood drove in the winning run with a walk-off single.

After the exhilarating come from behind win, the team had to focus back on their next opponent Miles College. Sophomore Casey Smith got the win on the mound and drove in the team’s go-ahead run in the bottom of the 6th inning getting the Panthers off to a 2-0 start. Along with Smith, Weedman and junior Kaci Ovelgoenner all tallied multi-hit games.

The following game the next day against Delta State would see senior Ashley Crooke give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning, but Delta State would answer back with four unanswered runs leading to them ultimately winning the game 4-1. The ladies would not let this get them down as Smith tossed a no hitter in game two of the day against Maryville as the Panthers got the win 2-0. She also had the games only RBI’s, but Crooke, Ovelgoenner, and freshman Jaclyn Parker also tallied hits to help the cause.

All of this leads to the showdown with Wayne State. The Panthers did not back down and fought hard in the game. After falling behind 3-0 in the 3rd, the ladies rallied to answer with one run in the fourth on a RBI single from Weedman. This was all they could muster as they fell by the score of 3-1.

The team would not this spoil their trip as they battled an old GLVC foe in Saint Joseph’s. This game, the Panthers offense could not be stopped as they scored ten runs on fourteen hits. Junior’s Alexis Chapman and Samantha Marksbury had multi-hit games and RBI’s, and Ovelgoenner tacked on 3 RBI’s of her own. Smith got another win on the mound stretching her record for the weekend to 3-0. Those victories lead to Smith being named G-MAC Softball Pitcher of the Week.

The Panthers will travel again to Louisville to play against Saginaw Valley State and Bellarmine over Valentine’s Day weekend. The ladies seem ready to make this year one to remember for the softball program.

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Softball Looking to Make Some Noise