Softball Team Splits Pair of One-Run Games With Albion
Saturday, April 10, 2010
By Calvin Sports Information Student Assistant Derek Neice
On a warm and sunny April afternoon, Calvin’s softball team came out Saturday to compete in a pair of conference games against the Albion Britons. The teams split the doubleheader as Albion squeaked out a 1-0 win in 10 innings in the first game, and Calvin finally got the offense going in game two as it won by a score of 5-4.
The first of the two games was a marathon to say the least and perhaps one of the best pitchers duels that Calvin has been in so far this season. Freshman pitcher Shelby Mast went head to head against Albion freshman pitcher Emily Carlson, and both pitchers went into extra innings holding the other team scoreless through seven. The Britons pulled out the win in ten innings, winning by a score of 1-0.
“It was a great pitching duel and battle,” said Calvin first-year coach Sharon De Kleine of game one. “It was a fantastic game and we were really only one hit away from winning so I was really happy with how she [Mast] pitched and how our team performed together.”
Both pitchers went through the entirety of the ten inning game with Mast giving up the lone unearned run off of two hits. Mast came into the day with a 2.55 earned run average and a 5-5 record and she struck out eight while allowing two hits and two walks. Albion’s Carlson earned the win and complete game shutout, giving up two hits while walking one and picking up a whopping eleven strikeouts.
Carlson did not allow a hit until the eighth inning and improved her record to 4-9 on the year with the win.
Calvin’s best opportunity to win the game came in the bottom of the eighth when senior second baseman Mandy Johnson led off the inning with a standup double to deep left field. Johnson’s double broke up Carlson’s no hitter, and after a bunt moved her to third base, the winning run was 60 feet away from home plate. Calvin’s next two batters struck out however and the game moved into extra frames.
In the tenth inning, with the game still knotted at 0-0 and both pitchers showing no signs of slowing down. In that inning the international run rule came into effect, allowing both teams to start the inning with a runner already on second base. The premise for this rule is to generate some offense, and it certainly worked as Albion moved its runner over on a sac bunt, and then got a double from Carlson to score the runner and take the lead.
Calvin similarly moved its runner to third on a sac bunt in the bottom half, but a foul-out and subsequent strikeout quickly ended the game.
Game two saw the offense of the Knights get much more of a jumpstart. Albion started freshman pitcher Adriane Kline against Mast, who took the ball for both games, and the Knights opened the game with three runs in the top of the first.
Calvin took advantage of a couple of infield errors by Albion and added a pair of hits and a walk, scoring three quick runs to take an early lead.
The Knights added a couple more runs in the fourth as sophomore Kim VandenAkker and senior Whisper Miller singled and then scored on a consecutive single by sophomore first baseman Marie Prins. That two RBI hit made it 5-0 Calvin.
“It was great to start out right away after that first game,” said De Kleine of game two. “They battled back and stuck with it and it made a big difference.”
“It was great the way the kids hung in there together,” she continued. “It was nice to come out with the win.”
Going into the seventh, Albion made things really interesting as it scored all four of its runs in that final frame, all with two outs. Kolling started with a double to left center and then scored on an error. A walk and another error loaded the bases, and then a double to right center by Alyssa Castillo brought the Britons within one with the tying run on second. Mast then came back into the game and got Carlson to fly out to center and end the game.
Kline took the loss for Albion as she dropped to 0-3 on the year. Mast did not take long to even her record again after that first game as she picked up her sixth win of the year, moving to 6-6 overall.
Kline went seven innings and gave up five runs, two earned, on nine hits and two walks while striking out one. Mast went four and a third innings before being replaced by Mandy Johnson on the mound, giving up only three hits and two walks while striking out four. Johnson went two and two thirds innings, giving up four unearned runs in the seventh off of three hits and two walks while striking out two.
The split gave Albion its first conference victory of the season as its improved to 1-9 in the league. Calvin now has a 2-4 MIAA record and a 6-7 overall record.
The next action for the Calvin softball team will be a make-up doubleheader at home against Hope on Monday April 12.
“Hope will be a big challenge,” said De Kleine of Monday’s games. “They’ll be tough but we can battle with them.”
Those games are set to begin at 3:30 p.m.