The players on the Emerson women's softball team knew they had made some crucial mistakes in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday. As a result, the team suffered its first conference loss of the season. Since they were playing against the defending Great Northeast Athletic Conference regular-season champion Rivier College, second baseman Katie Hartman knew they had to step up.
"Last year they were one of only two teams in our conference to sweep us in the regular season," the senior TV/video major said. "It was really important for us to walk away with at least one win."
Emerson responded by turning the tables on their opponents with a strong performance in the latter contest, earning a split in the pair of games.
After a quiet first inning, the Lions took control of the game during the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded and only one out, Hartman placed a bloop single down the right field line to put the Lions up 1-0.
Sophomore Jill Vallecorsa and senior Mallory Moretti followed with ground-ball singles, and sophomore Bidget Farago laced a hit down the right field line for a 4-0 lead.
After one more out, freshman Christina Naramore extended the edge to 5-0 by drawing a walk and forcing a runner home.
"We did exactly what [Rivier] did in the first game," Head Coach Phil McElroy said. "We took advantage of their mistakes."
Junior hurler Angela Jorgensen was strong, pitching a complete game and allowing only one earned run in the top of the seventh inning. She said that by not falling behind early, the Lions were able to perform better in the second game.
"We played pretty well both games, except for one inning [in the first contest]," the writing for film and television major said. "But by not falling behind early, we're able to play our game and not have to worry about having to come from behind."
The two contests were different from the Lions' previous GNAC games because they marked the first times the team failed to score at least seven runs in a conference game.
McElroy said although he was happy to get a victory, he was disappointed by the mistakes made by the Lions in the field throughout the day.
"We had four unearned runs, and three in the first inning," McElroy said. "We could've been out of the inning. It was disappointing."
However, McElroy said that Rivier was particularly strong in the opener because they had reigning GNAC Pitcher of the Year Monica White on the mound.
With the split for the day, the Lions brought their record to 9-7 (5-1 in the GNAC) on the year. McElroy said that the games against Rivier offered a good chance to prepare for tough opponents like Simmons College and Pine Manor College down the road.
For the time being, though, McElroy was most interested in getting his team to play a little sharper.
"We need to refocus and realize we're not going to go out and score 10 runs every day," McElroy said. "We need to execute. We can't rely on our hitting all the time."