Softball made program history last weekend in its final home series of the season over Saint Joseph’s.
The Colonials (30-18, 10-10 A-10) broke the program record for most wins in a season in their 4-2 win over the Hawks Saturday afternoon, capturing GW’s 29th victory of the season.
The team then dropped its second game against the Hawks 8-4 Saturday before winning the series with an 8–2 rubber match victory Sunday.
“We’re progressing a lot as a team,” sophomore utility player Jenna Cone said. “It just leads to more to come. We have more work to do, but we’re heading in the right direction.”
Cone reached base for the 31st-straight game when she hit a grand slam in the seventh inning of the second game, setting a program record for most consecutive games reaching base. Cone collected seven runs batted-in over the weekend.
Freshman utility player Sierra Lange pitched two complete games in the series and improved her record to 12-6 on the year.
The Colonials were paced by their pitching Saturday afternoon in their 4-2 win over the Hawks.
Lange pitched a complete game, striking out five batters and allowing seven hits in the matchup.
“When she steps up in the circle like that, our defense can relax and play their game,” head coach James DeFeo said. “Having her in the circle and getting consistent performances out of her like that really helps us get where we wanna be.”
The Colonials jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning behind a two-out two-run double by sophomore catcher Priscilla Martinez.
Lange sent Martinez over the plate with an RBI-single, followed by a single from freshman infielder Alessandra Ponce to send Lange home.
The four runs in the bottom of the first were the only ones the Colonials picked up for the remainder of the game, but Lange’s pitching kept the Colonials competitive.
The Hawks were held scoreless into the sixth inning before Lange gave up two runs in the frame.
After coming out on top in the first game of the doubleheader, the Colonials went through a six-inning scoring drought in the day’s second game, losing to Saint Joseph’s 8-4.
The Hawks struck in the top of the third inning when the Colonials recorded two errors to give Saint Joseph’s four runs. Saint Joseph’s scored eight runs before the Colonials plated their first.
“It definitely doesn’t help the other phases of the game when we’re making mistakes on defense,” DeFeo said. “It’s just basically a function of being locked in, and it’s just these little lapses that are coming back to haunt us.”
The Colonials found the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Cone’s record-breaking grand slam sent four Colonials over the plate for the team’s only runs of the game.
Cone currently leads the team in home runs with 11 and is second in hits with 52. She said throughout the season, she has been trying to focus on contributing to the team in any way possible.
Junior pitcher Ashley Ventura tossed two complete games for the Hawks on Saturday. In the loss, Defeo said he was disappointed that his team did not adjust better to a pitcher they faced for 12 of the day’s 14 innings.
“We just have to have much better at-bats,” DeFeo said. “We’re a little bit anxious up there, not swinging at really good pitches. We just need to relax and hit better pitches.”
Lange took the mound for the second time that weekend in the Colonials’ 8-2 win to capture the series Sunday afternoon and tossed her second complete game in as many days.
Sophomore infielder Elena Shelepak and Cone both knocked in three runs each in the game to lead the Colonials’ offense.
The Hawks took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first after a throwing error by Shelepak gave Saint Joseph’s its first run.
The Colonials bounced back when junior shortstop Marta Fuentes and freshman outfielder Sidney Bloomfield both crossed the plate off of RBI singles from Martinez and Shelepak.
In the second inning, Cone ripped a 1-1 pitch from Ventura into right-center field for a triple, batting in Fuentes and Bloomfield. Martinez then singled up the middle to allow Cone to score and take a commanding 5-1 lead.
The Colonials piled on runs in the fourth inning during a two-out rally that began with Cone doubling, allowing junior outfielder Criza Bulanadi to cross the plate. Cone and Martinez would follow her across the plate for an 8-2 advantage that held up for the rest of the contest.
The Hawks loaded the bases with only one out via two walks and a hit batter in the fifth inning, but a timely strikeout from Lange and a fly out ensured that the Colonials’ lead would hold.
The Colonials will play their final series of the season against St. Louis this weekend. The first game of the series is scheduled to begin 1 p.m. Saturday.