Softball collected three wins at the Buff and Blue Classic over the weekend with the help of consistent pitching and power hitting.
The Colonials (8-13) held their opponents to an average of three runs per game and smacked seven home runs in their weekend series against Winthrop, Rider and Monmouth.
“We know we have a capable pitching staff,” head coach Shane Winkler said. “We have four that we can throw out there at anytime and they’re still learning, they’re still growing because they’re all accepting the roles that they haven’t had in the past. “We know they’re capable and then offensively we showed big glimpses of what we can do throughout most of the weekend.”
Junior infielder Hannah Eslick hit three of GW’s homers, while senior utility Faith Weber and sophomore pitcher Megan Osterhaus both tossed complete games.
The Colonial bats got off to a hot start in their first game of the weekend, cracking three home runs in a 7–2 win over Winthrop (12-9). Eslick hit two round-trippers and sophomore utility Mia Parker added another as every GW starter reached the basepath.
Senior infielder Ansley Gilreath put the Eagles ahead in the opening frame with a run batted in double to center field. GW answered back in the third inning thanks to a pair of run batted in doubles from senior infielder Elena Shelepak and junior utility Alessandra Ponce that put the Colonials up 3–1.
A solo shot from Eslick in the fourth inning added insurance to GW’s lead. After the Eagles added a run in the fifth, Eslick stepped up again in the home half of the inning, going yard over the left field wall, tallying a 6–2 lead for the Colonials. It was Eslick’s first career multi-home run game and she tied a career-high with three RBI.
“I feel like I was struggling a little bit in the beginning of the year, so I kind of tried and changed my approach a little bit,” Eslick said. “I was able to see the ball really well this weekend.”
Parker’s first career home run in the sixth inning solidified the win, and senior pitcher Kaitlin Buff went into the circle and pitched two scoreless innings to wrap up the game.
Winkler called on all four of his pitchers for the second time this season as GW notched its second win of the weekend with a 5–2 victory over Rider (1-12).
“It’s going to be big to have everyone and have games where we might go all staff but it’s really cool that everyone went out and pitched, had great performances,” Weber said. “Just because going into conference it’s going to be really important that we all work together.”
The Broncs drew first blood in the top of the fourth inning, going up 2-0 thanks to RBI from freshman utility Elena Gonzalez and freshman third baseman Brianna Koonce.
GW answered back in the bottom of the inning, starting with a two-run home run from senior infielder Jenna Cone. An RBI groundout from senior infielder Elena Shelepak put the Colonials in front 3–2.
Eslick added another RBI to her weekend tally in the fifth inning and then went on to score herself on a groundout from senior utility Jessica Linquist to add the final two runs of the game.
Weber came on in the seventh inning and struck out the side to secure the victory and record the Colonials’ only save of the season.
Weber carried the Colonials to victory in the first of two matchups against Monmouth (11-9), pitching a complete game and knocking in five runs en route to a 10–2 win Saturday.
GW set the pace, getting out to an early 2–0 lead on RBI from Shelepak and Weber. Shelepak’s infield single brought in Linquist, and Weber grounded out to force Cone home. Cone stuffed the stat sheet, scoring three runs and bringing in two more thanks to a 4-for-4 performance at the plate.
Eslick scored in the second inning before Monmouth fought back with two runs in the third frame. From then on, it was all GW. A solo dinger from Cone in the fifth inning was a precursor for a six-run sixth inning.
Eslick’s third home run of the weekend put the hosts up 5–2, then a bases loaded sacrifice fly from junior utility Alessandra Ponce added another run.
Junior outfielder Sidney Bloomfield re-loaded the basepath with an infield hit to bring Weber to the plate. She crushed a grand slam home run to dead center field that triggered the run rule and ended the game.
The Colonials could not keep the weekend spotless as their offense went missing in a 6–1 loss to Monmouth Sunday. Junior pitcher Alyssa Irons, the reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference pitcher of the year, was stifling. She allowed no earned runs on two hits in a complete game showing.
“We made her look even better with our approach at the plate, but overall we’re starting to scratch the surface and we’re just looking to get better everyday,” Winkler said.
Monmouth came out of the gates swinging, opening up a 2–0 lead in the first inning after senior utility Amanda Hopeck hit a two-run home run that sailed over the left-center field fence.
The Hawks tacked on another run in the third inning, with sophomore utility Lindsey Baron coming around to score after a leadoff double into left field. Already up 3–0, Rosado launched a three-run home run to center field that built what proved to be an insurmountable advantage.
The Colonials put runners on second and third in the final frame and managed to get Parker across the plate to avoid a shutout, but could not muster a comeback.