Andrew Bell

Staff Writer

The familiar sounds of softball rang through campus as the Scots returned to Galpin Park for a weekend doubleheader against Oberlin College. The combination of senior day and the conference rivalry added a sense of intensity throughout the doubleheader. The games also marked Wooster’s first home conference game this season and was a must-win game for their squad. Stephanie Griffin-Sanchez ’24 added onto this sentiment; “Winning on senior day is huge for the team,” she said.

The first game was a close-fought contest between the rivals. Oberlin struck first with 2 RBIs, but Tori Conner ’27 was able to retire the side by striking out an Oberlin batter. Oberlin strung together another impressive half inning, but were stopped short after a groundout to Griffin-Sanchez. Wooster responded with an aggressive half inning to close out the second. Conner was able to scurry to first after Oberlin lost a wild-pitch. She advanced to third on an error by Oberlin’s Maya Means ’26 and Cate Barkdoll ’26 cracked a single through the third base gap. Conner crossed home to score Wooster’s first RBI on the day. Brenna Haydu ’26 logged the last hit of the inning for the Scots as the black and gold left two on at the end of the second.

The next two innings became a defensive struggle after a quick scoring burst by both teams. A 4, 6, 3 double play and a strikeout highlighted the defensive play of the Scots as they prevented the Yeos from scoring. The Scots recaptured their offensive glamor in the bottom of the fifth. Wooster’s first at-bat recorded a down-the-line single for Madi Yankauskas ’27 where she advanced to second on a stolen base. A groundout by Griffin-Sanchez allowed Yankauskas to sprint to third base and enter into prime scoring position. Emma Hetkey ’26 brought Yankauskas home for the tying run. Julia Jennings ’26 connected for a bloop single to continue the Fighting Scots’ offensive efforts. Unfortunately, a groundout and a strikeout turned the inning with runners still on.

The defensive showdown continued into the final third of the competition. Wooster stalled Oberlin’s offensive hopes after turning another double play in the sixth. The seventh saw the Scots force three straight outs to end the top of the seventh. Meanwhile, the Scots’ offense continued to produce hits but were unable to drive any runs home. Ciara Herbert ’24 was stopped at third, and Jennings was halted at second during both the sixth and seventh. However, the connections created a sense of optimism for the Scots as they headed into extra innings.

The top of the eighth saw Wooster’s stingy defense falter. Three singles by the Yeos caused the bases to be loaded with only one out. However, the Scots held strong on a miraculous 1, 2, 3 double play to retire the top of the eighth and keep the score tied. The Scots’ desperate play carried over into their offensive half of the inning as Barkdoll hit a double on the first at bat of the inning. However, the Yeos registered two outs and kept Barkdoll stuck on second. With two outs and a runner on, Yankauskas stepped up to the plate. A bloop single over the shortstop landed and Barkdoll sprinted for home. The call at the plate was safe as Wooster completed their comeback campaign. The Scots won 3-2 in extra innings.

The second game continued to be a defensive contest between the Yeos and the Scots. However, Wooster maintained a firm sense of control throughout the game, with Rachel Dudziak ’24 and Lilly McLendon ’24 pitching a shutout. Wooster scored twice during the contest. Conner registered the first RBI with a single to center field which let Hetkey cross home. The second run came in the sixth inning off a sac bunt by Wolff. Her bunt gave Herbert enough time to register the run for the Scots and set the game firmly in their control. The game ended as McLendon jammed three consecutive batters to end the softball weekend. The second game ended in a 2-0 victory for the Scots and improved their record to 12-14 on the season.

The weekend brought a conference sweep against the Yeos. The win was a huge boost to Wooster’s 4-1 conference record. The excitement from the first game also created a buzz around the squad. “As a first year,, I went into the game with the mindset of ‘do it for the seniors,’ said Yankauskas.“It meant a lot being able to contribute to the win so we could celebrate the seniors and everything they have done for this team.” 

The Scots have a tough road stretch ahead of them. Griffin-Sanchez said that they will “focus on one game at a time. We can’t look ahead to other teams. We have to focus on winning the game we are at right now.”

The Scots travel to archrival Wittenberg this Saturday, April 20, and to DePauw on Sunday, April 21, for a softball-filled weekend.

Written by

Henry Schneiderman

Winner of the 2014 Louisville Hotdog Eating Contest, Henry Schneiderman is a Sophomore at the College of Wooster with an intended major in Communications. He serves as a sports editor for the Wooster Voice.