This post was written by Hatchet reporter Mark Foley.
GW found itself in a three-run hole early in its first preseason game against Howard, staring down the District-rival in the first match of the 2011 season.
But then the Colonials swung into action, rallying to score 11 runs in the next three innings and eventually defeating Howard 11-3. GW went on to split preseason play by falling to the University of Maryland 3-0 later in the afternoon.
The Colonials put up runs in bunches over Howard, beginning with a double to deep center that drove in runners on second and third base. GW bunted over the runner on second to third and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Next inning, the Colonials picked up where they left, adding five more runs, including a deep shot from senior Lauren Wilson. Freshman Victoria Valos scored two runs to make the lead 5-3 with a monster hit off the right-center field wall in the fourth inning, and GW scored three in the fifth to round out their victory.
GW’s next match of the day was marked by tighter play, battling UMD through 7 scoreless innings before allowing in three runs in the eighth. On three occasions the Colonials had the bases loaded with one out, but were unable to capitalize on the chances.
“We needed to capitalize on one of their mistakes,” head coach Stacey Schramm said. “And we just didn’t.”
The Terrapins threatened early, hitting a single in the top of the third, advancing on a sacrifice bunt. They finally posted the first run to the board in the eighth inning with an RBI single, adding an RBI double later in the inning to defeat the Colonials 3-0.
The Colonials failed to capitalize on a fly ball in the bottom of the seventh that would have scored a tagging run from third base. After the game, Schramm emphasized the strength of GW’s second opponent of the day, giving kudos to the efforts of senior pitcher Kara Clauss, who threw in all eight innings.
“Every pitch until the eighth was right on” said Schramm. “That’s [UMD] the best team we will face all year and we played that long with them.”
The Colonials will continue their preseason play by hosting Mount Saint Mary’s and UMBC Oct. 2.