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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

Struggling to score

Junior Ashley Ventura pitches against Dayton on April 14 (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Softball swept in series against Dayton

Burdened by injuries, the St. Joe’s softball team had a tough time getting things going in their series against Dayton University on April 14-15. The Hawks were unable to score a run in all three games, losing 3-0, 1-0 and 6-0.

 The trio of losses brings their record to 14-22 overall and 2-7 in Atlantic 10 conference play. According to head coach Erin Brooks, the team’s injuries are a big factor in their play.

 “This is the time in the season where injuries will come into play, but it seems like we’re getting hit pretty hard,” Brooks said.

 Dayton’s and St. Joe’s doubleheader on April 14 saw two close contests with junior Ashley Ventura on the mound for the Hawks. Dayton took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and wouldn’t score again until the top of the seventh. The Hawks had three hits, two coming from sophomore Caela Abadie and one from freshman Taylor Marinelli.

 Ventura allowed just one run in the second game of the day, but it was enough for the Flyers to hand the Hawks another loss. Dayton’s Lisa Tassi scored in the top of the fourth to secure the win. St. Joe’s picked up three hits again from Marinelli, sophomore Molly Kapala and freshman Kirstin Cox.

 The matchup on April 15 was much different than the previous games in the series, with the temperature cut in half from the day before. Bitter cold and strong winds brought hardships for both teams, according to freshman pitcher Chelsea Evans.

 “It was more of a mental game,” Evans said. “It was very cold and it got to our head a bit. We overcame as much as we could.”

 Evans held Dayton off from scoring in the first inning, but they would score three runs in the bottom of the top of the second to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Flyers’ Kyle Davidson doubled down the third baseline to secure two runs, followed by another run off of a fielding error.

 Dayton’s Ellie Ziegler had a solo homerun in the top of the third to push the lead to 4-0. Ventura replaced Evans in the circle in the fourth inning and held off the Flyers until the seventh when they scored two insurance runs to go up 6-0. The Hawks were unable to retaliate, and they ended the game with a 6-0 loss and the series at 0-3.

 Again, the Hawks had three hits in the final game from Marinelli, junior Stacey Mayer and senior Lauren Reilly.

 The St. Joe’s offense was unable to get anything going, but it was not without effort.

 “We were hitting the ball well; we were just hitting it right to them,” Evans said. “We had some good hits.”

 With injuries marking the season with uncertainty, it is important for St. Joe’s to improve their morale. In the last game of the series, the Dayton bench was cheering the entire time while the Hawks bench was quiet.

 “We have quite a few impact players out, but it’s also just the morale,” Brooks said. “Not just productivity, just overall we’re feeling it right at the moment.”

 The Hawks will look to get a few wins under their belt in the final stretch of their season, especially in A-10 play. Their next series will be at Rhode Island University, who currently sits at 3-7 in conference and 9-25 overall, on April 21.

 Brooks has confidence that if St. Joe’s can convert hits into runs, they will have a better chance of performing in the last leg of their season.

 “We played the tougher part of our conference in the beginning and we came close a lot of times; we were out-hitting teams, just not scoring runs,” Brooks said. “Figuring that out along with the lineup and who’s going to produce with runners on base [will improve help us improve].”


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