BY TYLER MILLIKEN // March 31, 2017 //
The Curry bats failed to come alive in the first home game of the 2017 season at the D. Forbes Will Field but battled back and walked-off winners to earn a split with Nichols College.
Although the Colonels already had a couple Commonwealth Coast Conference games under their belt, the Bison were playing in their first conference action, already needing to make up ground.
Junior Mikayla Lambert was given the ball to start the game and came through, delivering a complete game while allowing only three runs. However, those unearned runs would prove to be costly.
Even to start the fourth she had a no-hitter, but the bases were loaded due to walks and errors. After another error allowed the first run to score, the floodgates opened, but only for a short while as Lambert hung in and got Curry out of the inning.
The errors and free passes gave Nichols the scoring chances they couldn’t create and the Colonels just couldn’t match the production. That might have partially been because of the other pitcher in the circle; freshman Alexis Ferris.
The 3-0 victory marked the Bison’s first Conference win of the season in the first game of the doubleheader, and Ferris’ fifth win on the season. Curry totaled four hits through seven innings, while Nichols only accumulated two.
In the second game of the evening, junior Jordan Lizotte got the starting nod for the Colonels, and immediately found a rhythm. She cruised through the first five frames scattering six hits while striking out four Bison.
On top of that, she helped herself out at the plate and drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth. Junior Jess Saluti followed with an RBI single and Lizotte returned to the circle with a 2-0 cushion.
However, the opposing pitcher, senior Meghan Sears, had similar plans and helped her own cause by lifting a two-run home run to even the score in the top of the sixth.
After the game, Lizotte mentioned, “At that point, you have to realize a hit like that is going to happen, and if you get down, a lot worse can happen. I just had to hold my head up high and go at the next batter.”
She was able to do just that and sent the 2-2 score past regulation and gave the fans free softball, although it wouldn’t last long.
Madeline Critch was placed on second base to begin the bottom of the eighth inning, and Rachel Byrd stepped to the plate. Byrd laced a ground ball to center field, which got away from the outfielder and allowed Critch to go home. Although a strong relay cut her down before the plate, Byrd advanced to third on the error.
Just a few pitches into the next at-bat, Sears fired a pitch into the dirt, and Byrd raced home for the win.
The Colonels move to 3-1 in conference play this season, which is a huge improvement on the four conference wins that came from 2016.
While reflecting on the win, senior captain Marissa Bruno noted some struggles the team has been going through off the field.
“Our assistant coach is having some issues, so, before the last inning we got in the huddle and said let’s just do it for Katy, so we had her on our mind and in our hearts,” Bruno explained.
Head Coach Bruce Weckworth was all smiles after the win, proud of his team’s performance.
“There was a nice energy coming out. Jordan did a great job keeping the ball down and away,” Weckworth noted. “This is our time.”
The D. Forbes Will Field goes right back to action as its set to host another CCC doubleheader on Sunday, this time with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. with Gordon College.