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Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Softball gets first wins in dominating weekend

Maggie Remus ’18 pitches in practice this week. Photo by Chris Lee
Maggie Remus ’18 pitches in practice this week.  Photo by Chris Lee
Maggie Remus ’18 pitches in practice this week.
Photo by Chris Lee

Last Saturday, the Grinnell women’s softball team won for the first time in the past two seasons, beating Ripon College 10-0. Then for good measure, they won again on Sunday in a 13-9 victory versus St. Norbert College.

“It was frustrating because we had a lot of games where we lost in the seventh inning [a regulation NCAA softball game is only seven innings] or we’d be up for a long time and barely lose. So it’s nice. All those close ones, it’s nice to have one that pays off,” said catcher Lydia Stariha ’17.

Despite their less than stellar record coming into the weekend, Melissa Anderson ’18 mentioned that the team was not surprised by their success.

“When we left for this weekend, we felt that it was our time to finally pull everything together. It was time for us to get a win,” Anderson said.

Head coach Amanda Reckamp agreed with this sentiment. “This weekend didn’t necessarily come as a shock to us,” Reckamp said, adding, “[However,] it definitely shocked the conference.”

After starting the season 0-18, the Pioneers busted their losing streak in resounding fashion, crushing Ripon College 10-0. Anderson befuddled the Ripon hitters as she tossed a two-hit complete game shutout. Stariha was quick to point to Anderson’s work ethic as a reason for her success.

“She just works really hard. She did a really good job hitting her spots and came out really focused and has been a strong presence for us on the field. As a first-year, that’s a lot to ask of someone, but she has really taken it up well,” Stariha said.

Anderson mentioned recent work on her change-up with pitching coach Christie Mohlke as a reason behind her success.

Along with the immaculate pitching performance, the Pioneers executed an offensive onslaught with 10 runs on 13 hits. Five of those hits were for extra bases. Kristina Weber ’16 had a triple, Kayla Morrissey ’18 had a homerun and Sage Juveland ’17 had one of each. 

Reckamp was quite proud of the offense, not just in this game but also on the entire season. The team is batting a collective .319, signifying a major improvement over the past three seasons in which the team did not hit above .200 collectively.

“It definitely is the best offense Grinnell has had,” Reckamp said.

Both Reckamp and Anderson highlighted Juveland in particular. The second-year is hitting an impressive .453 this season.

The Pioneers seem to have enjoyed the taste of victory, as they followed up their win against Ripon with a 13-9 victory against St. Norbert. The St. Norbert game was especially noteworthy, as the Pioneers had not beaten them in over nine years. Anderson pitched in that game as well and while she did not pitch as well as she did against Ripon, she blasted a homerun and a single in five at-bats.

On Wednesday, the Pioneers were beat by Cornell College in two games, and with a 2-21 record, Grinnell has a long way to go before they are content, but with three games this weekend, the Pioneers are going to look to continue their winning ways.

“We have the confidence that, yes, we can win games. And, yes, we are going to keep winning,” Anderson said.

On Saturday, the Pioneers will travel to Galesburg, Illinois to play a doubleheader versus Knox College and then will travel to Jacksonville, Illinois to play a doubleheader versus Illinois College. On both days, games start at 1 and 3 p.m. respectively.

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