The Chicago softball team will face off against Wash U (13–6) for the first time in a decade this weekend. The last time the two teams played one another was in 2007. This will be the first of two UAA weekends for the Maroons this season, though it will not count for either team in the UAA standings. The weekend will feature four games total between the two teams; two games on Saturday and another two on Sunday.
While Wash U leads the all-time series 8–2, the Maroons (10–7) come into this weekend hungry for wins against the Bears. As none of the current players have played Wash U during their tenure, the team looks forward to being able to participate in the storied rivalry between the two schools.
Wash U enters this weekend coming off a hotly contested four-game series with Emory in which they went 2–2. They were shut out by Emory in both games of the doubleheader on the first day but then came back the next day to return the favor to Emory, blanking them by a score of 8–0. The fourth game of the series was a high-scoring, extra-inning game ending in favor of the Bears, 10–8.
The Maroons, on the other hand, are coming off a 1–3 weekend. Though the record on paper for the weekend isn’t favorable, each game was fought tooth and nail until the last pitch, leaving the team fired up to capitalize on big wins.
Fourth-year WAA athlete of the week Anna Woolery is looking forward to playing Wash U for the first time in her career. She recognizes the difficulty in a four-game series, but looks forward to the challenge that it brings. She notes that the team is in a good place, coming off a tough weekend.
“This weekend will be a good challenge for us because it’s difficult to play and beat a team four times,” Woolery said. “However, we’re in a good place to take on Wash U. Last weekend ended with solid intensity and focus that we’ve continued to build on that this week.”
Both the Bears and the Maroons have been led by a strong pitching staff this season. The Maroons’ staff is anchored by third-year Molly Moran who is striking out 1.2 batters per inning. Moran has been a key to the team’s success this season and looks to continue to dominate on the mound down the stretch. She is complemented effectively by both second-year Jordyne Prussak and first-year Megan Stoppelman, together the pitching staff continually keeps teams off balance.
The Maroons also look to continue to garner success from their underclassmen as the team is made up of 11 underclassmen compared to four upperclassmen. The newcomers to the team have made an immediate impact and will continue to be relied on to contribute at a high level.
The Maroons will kick off action on Saturday with the doubleheader set for 1 p.m. and will play another doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday.