The University of Chicago women’s softball team kept their cool on Friday the 13th to split a pair of games with the visiting Warhawks from UW–Whitewater. The Maroons took the first game, defeating UW–Whitewater 2–1, but fell to the Warhawks in the second game 11–0 to finish with a record of 14–8.
Fourth-year Molly Moran put up a strong performance in the first game, throwing a no-hitter through the first five innings, and finishing the game with four hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and one earned run. The Maroons were solid on the offensive side as well in the low-scoring game, with three total hits. First-year Abby Hayes broke the scoreless game in the bottom of the third with a lead-off home run to deep left field, her first home run of the season.
Both third-year Serena Moss and first-year Skye Collins were able to single in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Hayes scored Moss on a grounder to shortstop.
On the approach to the game and the importance of scoring early, Hayes said, “Going into the game we are all very focused, we have the same goal and that is to win. We know that we have the ability to beat virtually every team we play, so it’s on us to perform at the high level we all know we’re capable of. And, as you probably saw in the second game, capturing the momentum early in the game is critical because it’s always difficult to come back when you’re behind. Starting off ahead and with high energy sets the tone and can determine the game. I think we did a great job of that in the first game; we came out competitive and engaged, ultimately allowing us to come out on top.”
Despite top-notch pitching from the Maroons, the Warhawks stayed in the game and put pressure on Chicago until the final inning, scoring a run off of three hits in the top of the seventh. Moran was able to stay focused and secure a victory, forcing the last UW–Whitewater batter to fly out to right field.
After a short break, the Maroons took the field to start the second game of Friday’s doubleheader against UW–Whitewater. Chicago trailed from the very beginning, as the Warhawks started the game off with two hits and one run. The Maroons were unable to answer their opponents who put up five runs in the second inning, followed by three runs and two runs in the third and fourth inning, respectively. Collins attributed the contrast between the two games to the mental preparation, and said, “I think we were mentally prepared to play one game but not two. We completely checked out after the first game, so, once we were down, it was pretty hard to try to get out of that hole mentally and logistically.”
Second-year shortstop Emma Nelson was able to single in the fourth inning, but the bats were quiet for the rest of the game for the Maroons.
The team will look to bounce back from the doubleheader and continue the overall positive performance this season with a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 17, at Millikin University. Collins said, “I think to bounce back we took the weekend off—I really believe there is much more of a mental block for us than one related to skill or ability—and today we are most likely going back to some basics in practice and work out some kinks.”