Softball off to solid start on road trip

“After the Hornet Invitational in Montgomery, Ala. was canceled due to snow three weeks ago, the Zips softball team opened up their season playing at the Cougar Classic Feb. 19 through Feb. 21. The tournament was held at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.”

After the Hornet Invitational in Montgomery, Ala. was canceled due to snow three weeks ago, the Zips softball team opened up their season playing at the Cougar Classic Feb. 19 through Feb. 21.

The tournament was held at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S. C. and Akron won, going 3-2.

We did a very good job as far as executing some things that we have been working on such as pitching and defense, so were pretty pleased, Zips assistant head coach Julie Pratt said.

The Zips first two wins came against James Madison (3-2) 4-3 in eight innings and The College of Charleston (3-4) 2-0 on Feb. 19.

Pitching was the major component in the wins as sophomore Andrea Arney and junior Heather Bauer pitched a combined 15 innings, yielding just three hits and one earned run during the day’s double header.

On the offensive side, junior Monica Shorter batted 3-for-6 with three hits and two RBI, while junior Alex Feltes also went 3-for-6, one which was a triple and stole one base.

On Feb. 21, the Zips were able to split both their games (1-1).

The first and only win Akron picked up was against Wagner (0-5), Arney (2-1) demonstrated another strong pitching performance leading the Zips to a 6-1 win.

She struck out nine without walking a batter. She gave up just one earned run and allowed three hits in seven innings.

Arney did excellent. She doesn’t pitch like a sophomore and she just has great demeanor and poise. She just holds it down and hits all her spots, Pratt said.

Freshmen Alissa Birkhimer had two hits and drove in three runs while junior Alex Feltes also had two hits, two runs and two RBI.

After an extra-inning win over James Madison (3-2) on Friday, the Zips would not be so lucky losing 3-1.

JMU scored early in the game with one run in the second and two in the third.

A Zips pitching change brought junior Alex Riedeman into the game during the fourth inning. She pitched four shutout innings of relief giving up just three hits.

Meanwhile, junior Sarah Earley went 2-for-3 with 2 hits and a run scored.

On Feb. 21, the Zips lost a hard fought battle 1-0 to number 15 seeded Louisville (10-2).

They’re a very good team. Our defense and pitching did a great job of making plays and keeping us in the game, so to be in it the whole game against a team who is nationally ranked was very good for us, Pratt said.

Arney started, giving up one earned run in the first inning and eight hits total.

She was able to work herself out of many jams during the game as Louisville had scoring opportunities in the third and fourth innings.

Akron’s only chance of scoring came in the fifth inning when Shorter led off with a single to left field. This led to a sacrifice bunt by junior Sarah Stormack advancing Shorter to second.

Sophomore Crystal Hernandez put runners at the corners with a base hit, however a strike out and ground out gave Louisville the win.

After a weekend off, the Zips return to action this weekend at the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic in Woodstock, Ga.