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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Battle of the best

Battle+of+the+best

Softball competes for top seed in conference

The Saint Joseph’s University softball team took on the University of Massachusetts Minutemen on April 22 and 23, to determine the top team in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The Hawks were in first place while UMass was in second  going into the games over the weekend. The series was going to be a tough one for both teams.

“I think that as long as we respond well and work hard at practice that when we move forward and play our next game that as long as we bring our stuff, we will be fine,” said sophomore pitcher Ashley Ventura after their second loss on Sunday. “We have to keep working hard and chucking along at everyone that steps on our field, give it the best we have, and we will be fine.”

Game one started on April 22 with Ventura on the mound for the Hawks. The game was scoreless up until the top of the third inning. UMass was able to take advantage of runners in scoring position and score the game’s first and only run on an RBI single.

The Hawks came up to bat looking to take the lead. Unfortunately for them, they would have to wait to even the score. The game went into a rain delay and was resumed on April 23.

They battled in their first game the following day, but could not get anything going. The Hawks were only able to get two hits after the rain delay and were not able to get on base, leaving the victory to UMass at 1-0.

Both teams went back to their dugouts for a brief break before the start of the second game.

Ventura was back on the mound for her team. The Hawks were looking to break the tie for first place with UMass.

Things did not start out well for the Hawks. In the top of the first inning, Ventura let up a two run home run. The Hawks went down, but did not give up.

St. Joe’s kept getting hits and advancing the runners, but they could not bring anyone home. They left runners in scoring position multiple times with one out in the inning.

The game remained 2-0 until the top of the sixth inning. UMass added  more insurance runs and  were able to capitalize on an error by the Hawks to  score another run.

St. Joe’s went into the bottom of the sixth trying to take the lead. They were able to get runners aboard, and through a stolen base and some hits, were able to score one run.

“Adjusting to the pitcher and umpire and making faster adjustments are why [the Hawks] struggled so much,” Ventura said.

St. Joe’s had another opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh. Unfortunately, the Hawks could not rally and fell to UMass.

“I think today we got stumbled up with their pitching,” said assistant coach Brooke Darreff. “She [Ventura] threw two really good games.”

The Hawks did make some great defensive plays during the game, but they were not enough to keep UMass from winning.

“Mostly minor adjustments need to be made, and these two game dictated our offense,” Darrief said about the future.

She also thinks that facing the UMass pitcher so often will prepare the team for success in the playoffs.

The final score was 3-1, UMass, with Ventura receiving a loss for this game. The Hawks’ next game is against conference rival La Salle University on April 26.

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