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ISSUE 119 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 4/28/2006

Fastpitch season nears end

By David Henke
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 28, 2006

The St. Olaf fastpitch softball season is quickly coming to a close. The team, which was swept by Hamline University 5-4 and 6-4 on Saturday afternoon, split with St. Kate’s 5-3 and 1-0 on Sunday, and was swept again by St. Benedict’s 12-2 and 14-1 on Tuesday. The team has four games remaining in their regular season, and will wrap them up before MIAC tournament play begins on May 5.

The Oles’ first game on Saturday against Hamline was a closely fought battle. The Oles came out early on a pair of doubles from Lindsay Weier ’06 and Maggie Roscher ’06. The hits brought Emily Hennig ’08 and Weier home, and allowed St. Olaf to post an early 2-0 lead.

The Ole lead dwindled in the second inning, however, when Hamline’s batters knocked in two runs of their own. The game stalemated until Hamline scored in the top of the sixth inning, but the Oles quickly retaliated when a single by Jenna Arotta ’06 drove in two St. Olaf runners, which gave St. Olaf a 4-3 lead. Hamline was able to turn the tide in the seventh and eighth innings however, scoring one run in each inning and ending the game with a 5-4 win.

Hamline carried that momentum against St. Olaf into their second game of the afternoon, tallying up four runs in the first two innings. The Oles managed to bring in four runs over the course of the seven inning game, but Hamline maintained the lead, winning 6-4 over St. Olaf.

“Hamline hit the ball very well, and we struggled at the plate a bit,” Hennig said. “We were able to stay competitive and fight back, but we fought back a little too late.”

On Sunday, the St. Olaf women faced off against St. Kate’s. The Wildcats came out early in their first game, tallying four runs against the beleaguered Oles in the first three innings. St. Olaf was able to rebound, with Janae Fabini ’08 and Weier each tallying RBIs, but the Wildcats came out on top, winning 5-3.

The Oles pulled out of their slump in the second game of the series. Both teams played a defensive battle that kept the game to a 0-0 score until Arotta scored in the top of the seventh inning, bringing the game to a 1-0 conclusion. Pitcher Laura Torgerson ’06 kept the Wildcats at bay: She allowed out only four hits in eight innings of pitching.

“The first game was a little slow,” Arotta said. “But the second game was much better; everyone’s hitting improved, and we were better all-around defensively and offensively.”

“Our pitching has gotten a lot better,” Erin Johnson ’09 added. “Our defense behind our pitchers is really strong, and we’re able to capitalize on plays.”

On Tuesday, the College of St. Benedict swept the Oles in two games, winning 12-2 in the first, and 14-1 in the second. In the first game St. Ben’s managed 12 hits to St. Olaf’s three, scoring 12 runs in the first three innings alone. Janae Fabini ’08 and Kelsey Oja ’09 scored late in the game, bringing the final score to 12-2.

St. Ben’s kept up the intensity in the second game as well, beating the Oles 14-1. Weier scored the only run of the game for St. Olaf on a single from Roscher.

This week’s games brought the Oles’ MIAC record to 6-12, with their overall record currently standing at 12-20.

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