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ISSUE 117 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 4/9/2004

Fastpitch endures rough spring break, starts strong in the MIAC

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 9, 2004

It has been a season of streaks so far for the young Ole fast pitch squad. The team began their season with a spring break trip to Arizona where they matched up against some of the toughest competition they will face all season long. The Oles played valiantly, but were unable to muster a win during the seven game trip, being outscored 84-9 in the process.

The team returned from the trip to open up the MIAC season on March 31 with a doubleheader at Gustavus.

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Oles were held to six hits and no runs by the defending MIAC champions.

Game two proved to be no better as the Oles fell victim to a six-run third inning outburst by the Gusties. The Oles scraped together three runs but were unable to counter the Gustavus bats, losing 12-3.

The was no break in the grueling schedule for the Oles. The following day they were back on the diamond for a two game set against the University of Minnesota-Morris.

The Oles jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first game of the series. The Cougars came back with six unanswered runs to take a 6-4 lead into the seventh and final inning. The Oles comeback in the bottom of the seventh came up one run short as they lost 6-5.

Sarah Herby '04 was 2 for 3 on the day with an RBI and Chelsey Rodd '06 went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. The loss pushed the Oles' losing streak to ten games to start the season.

The Oles finally put one in the win column, winning the second game against MN-Morris 5-4. The teams' bats came to life, knocking around the Morris pitchers for 12 hits.

Rodd again led the way going 3-for-3 with RBI and a run scored. Third baseman Rose Keimig '06 had two RBI and Bekki Hagen '05 pitched seven strong innings giving up only two earned runs for her first win of the season.

Hagen has been the workhorse of the team so far this season starting, all but one game for the Oles. The win helped carry some momentum into the first MIAC home games of the year against St. Ben's.

The Bennies came into the game with only one loss on the season and the home team appeared to be heavy underdogs.

The young Olaf squad must have not received the memo as they came out and hammered the Bennies' pitching staff in the first game, walking away with a hard-fought 8-4 victory.

St. Ben's came back in the second game winning 7-3, but the win in the first game proved that the Oles came to play in a tough MIAC this season.

The following day, the Oles swept a doubleheader against Macalester. In the first game, the Oles put six runs on the board with only five hits and Hagen shut down the Scots' hitters, allowing a single run in the 6-1 victory.

In the second game, the Oles won a close contest 3-2. Hagen once again stifled Macalester earning her fourth win of the season.

The win was the Oles' fourth in their last five games and their third MIAC win of the year. Last season the Oles were 5-17 in the MIAC so they are more than half way to eclipsing last years record.

The team has a few days off after playing a demanding eight games over just five days.

Next up is a weekend set against non-conference foe Buena Vista College an April 9.

The Oles can run their winning streak to four games with a double-header sweep of Concordia, who is 0-6 on the season, and improve on their 3-3 MIAC record.

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