After splitting a doubleheader yesterday, softball is still looking for the spark to its season.
A 5–2 win over Wheaton opened the day for the Maroons, but they couldn’t carry the momentum into the nightcap, and they dropped the second game 8–3. The one-step-forward, one-step-back afternoon put Chicago at 9–13 for the spring while the Thunder evened its record to 15–15.
Coming alive late in the opener, the South Siders scored two runs in the sixth to tie the game at 2–2. Second-year starting pitcher Kathleen Duffy helped her cause with a RBI double to center field to get things going, ushering in a new pitcher for Wheaton. The Maroons added another one when first-year pinch runner Lori Knapp scored on a throwing error by first-year shortstop Kelli Hennessey.
When next at bat, the Maroons put up three runs to complete the come-from-behind effort. Duffy started the two-out rally with a single through the left side, and first-year catcher Sara Whaley gave the squad a little extra breathing room for the bottom of the seventh with a two–RBI single to right field. Duffy’s 2–4 day at the plate and pair of RBIs went along with her complete game effort of one earned run on four hits with two strikeouts.
Back on the field for the second game, Chicago kept up the offensive momentum with an early three-run lead after the first. Whaley put the Maroons on the board after lining a single to right with two outs for a pair of unearned runs. She came around to score on first-year left fielder Jennifer Simile’s double to right-center.
Simile’s RBI capped off Chicago’s only rally of the game, with first-year starting pitcher Mandy Brockman buckling down and putting up zeroes the final six innings.
Chicago pitching had a much tougher time retiring the side, and all three of the Maroons’ pitchers had to take the mound. Second-year Lauren White got the start and breezed by the Thunder’s first three batters with two groundball outs and a fly to right.
In the bottom of the second, she got into trouble when she hit the first two batters she faced. A single loaded the bases, and then a wild pitch gave Wheaton its first run. Three runs and no outs later, rookie Christy Corfias relieved White, but the Thunder would collect two more before letting Chicago return to its dugout, down 5–3.
Corfias and the Maroons held Wheaton scoreless for the next three innings, but with nothing coming on offense, the Thunder had the game sealed before the team added three more runs in the sixth.
From here, Chicago has just five opponents left on the schedule. The team will play its final games at Stagg this week, hosting North Central (18–6) Saturday and Lake Forest (11–8) Tuesday before wrapping up the year on the road.