In its second year of existence, the NYU softball team started the season disappointingly, but the team kicked off the UAA Championship tournament under bright blue skies in Altamonte Springs, Florida by splitting a two-game set against Case Western Reserve University and Washington University in St. Louis.
The Violets began the day with an early 3-1 win over Case Western. After a scoreless four innings, the entirety of the game’s scoring occurred in the fifth, with Case Western grabbing a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning. But in the bottom half of the fifth, the Violets used a bit of small ball to take the lead. After freshman Sydni Holtz singled, Cassi Parulis bunted her to second, putting a runner in scoring position. Freshman Carina Sturm then got a single of her own, putting runners on the corners with one out. A throwing error by Case Western catcher Meghann McMahon gave Holtz an opportunity to score, tying the game. Freshman Diana King later doubled to bring junior captain Marisa Bella and Sturm home, giving the Violets the decisive 3-1 lead.
Freshman Olivia Mould earned her first victory of the season with a quality start, pitching six innings of one-hit baseball. After giving up a hit, freshman Karissa Zubulake closed the door on Case Western in the seventh inning with her first save of the season.
About an hour later, the Violets were back in action against the undefeated Wash U and came out firing with a King home run in the first inning. But the momentum quickly dropped after that, as Wash U took a 2-1 lead in the second and exploded for 10 more runs in the third inning. With little chance to make a comeback, Wash U tacked on two more runs in the fourth and won the five-inning affair 14-1.
By the end of the game, the Violets fell victim to a highly inconsistent defense, finishing with eight errors. The team’s pitchers were only responsible for four of the game’s runs. NYU’s best pitching performance came from Jacqueline Tremblay, who escaped a fifth-inning jam to come out unscathed. King’s home run was the high offensive moment for the Violets. Even in defeat, Holtz was pleased with the team’s response to a difficult loss.
“We never gave up on each other, which is incredibly important and speaks to who we are as a team,” Holtz said.
Now 2-4, the Violets’ UAA action in Florida continues tomorrow against Brandeis University. Although it has been a rocky start to the season, Holtz believes the Violets are filled with potential and will only continue to improve.
“Both games were a big learning experience for our team because it showed the potential we have as well as the great advantages that come with such a big team,” Holtz said.
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