The Fighting Scots softball team traveled to Springfield, Ohio to take on the Wittenberg Tigers in a conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 2. Before Saturday’s game, the team suffered back-to-back losses and the Scots were keen on returning to the team that is projected to finish second in the NCAC. Only DePauw, who has been a top 10 team in the nation for the majority of the season, was expected to finish ahead of Wooster in the NCAC standings. And in the first game of the weekend, Wooster looked intent on proving exactly why they deserved such a high preseason ranking.
After a one run first inning for the Scots, the bats came to life as the Scots hung six runs on the Tigers in the top of the second, thanks to the skilled hitting of Brooke Swain ’22, Stephanie Griffin-Sanchez ’24, Katie Agatucci ’22 and Kaydee Clark ’24. Agatucci got off to a hot start, bringing in the game’s first run and then following up her performance with another RBI in the second. Wooster’s scoring spree was so electric that Wittenberg’s starting pitcher opted to join in, handing Wooster their sixth and final run of the second inning on a wild pitch that was too much for the catcher to handle.
Rachael Dudziak ’24 managed the mound, holding Wittenberg to only one run, while totaling a single strikeout and allowing five hits. The Scots’ defense committed two errors on the day which led to a single run for the Tigers. Dudziak pitched five innings, which amounted to a complete game during the shortened contest as she only gave up one walk, while facing 20 batters on the day. Saturday was Dudziak’s fifth win on the season as the Scots reigned victorious.
Ciara Herbert ’24 contributed with a hit of her own and stellar play in center field. Following the victory, she said: “we played as a unit. Our offense was on fire and kept pushing runs across the plate and our defense kept everything in front. Rach[ael] killed it on the mound and shut down Witt’s hitters.”
The fourth inning was another eventful one for the Fighting Scots, as the bats came back to life after taking the third inning off. After surrendering a run in the third, Wooster came back with a vengeance as Gabby Lakes ’22 brought Clark in with a double, stretching Wooster’s lead to 9-1. Following a walk that gifted Destany Blake ’25 a base, Anna Norby ’24 brought both Lakes and Blake home with a three-run homer that stretched the score to 12-1. This was Norby’s first home run of the year, showing the wealth of power that Wooster has within its lineup.
As one of the senior leaders, Lakes was pleased with the Scots fulfilling their potential. “We were finally able to show everyone what we were made of. We have a great lineup and a great defense. We played free, as one cohesive unit, and made a statement. We are here to play, and we are going to give you everything we have.” This is only the start for a promising Scots squad, but the lightning fast pace of the softball season does not allow for slow starts. That being said, there is still time for the Scots to achieve top form.
The rest of the game proved to be quiet as Wittenberg was beaten into submission and Wooster only recorded two hits as the game ended 12-1 with an emphatic victory for the Fighting Scots. Griffin-Sanchez and Norby proved to be the two heavy hitters for the Scots, totalling three RBIs apiece.
Wooster’s follow up performance was not as flawless, as they fell to the Wittenberg squad 8-4 with the Tigers putting the game out of reach early by scoring seven runs through the first three innings compared to Wooster’s lone run. Griffin-Sanchez provided a bit of hope with a solo shot in the third; however, the Tigers followed this with two more runs. A comeback was not out of the question in the fourth as Wooster brought three runs in thanks to an error, a Molly Likins ’22 single and a Griffin-Sanchez sacrifice fly. The comeback never found its feet as the Scots’ rally caps only recorded two more hits through the last three innings of the contest.
The Fighting Scots softball team will look to rebound this weekend with a Saturday doubleheader at Denison, followed by a Sunday doubleheader at home against Baldwin Wallace. Come out and support your Scots at Sunday’s cookout!