Colts narrowly defeat Cardinals in women’s softball matchup


Colts’ softball coach Kassie Stiling throws the ball during their game against the Cardinals. Photo: Jacob Larsen

The Theta Sigma Colts held off a late seventh-inning rally by the Beta Epsilon Cardinals to win 8-7 in softball action on Saturday.

Inning 1:

The Colts’ senior Sarah Black led off with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball after freshman teammate Casey Peacock lined out to third. A pinch runner came in for Black, and junior Rachel Niarchos singled to put runners on first and third with one out.

Junior Lauren Mauk came to the plate and singled. Both runners scored on a passed ball to put the Colts up 2-0. Junior coach Kassie Stiling came up next and singled to left field. The next batter struck out, and then sophomore Jennifer Berry singled to bring home Mauk (3-0). The last batter struck out to end the inning.

The Cardinals had an unimpressive first inning with the first two batters striking out and the next popping up to go three up, three down.

Inning 2:

Junior Dennae Koenke and sophomore Lyndi Yarusinsky singled to start the inning for the Colts. The Cardinals retired the next two batters to hold the Colts and then got the force out at second to keep the Colts from scoring. Cardinal freshman Bethany Davenport led off and grounded out. Senior Alicia Weckel singled, and then sophomore Anna Magnuson singled, but the Colts got the force out at second.

Inning 3:

Theta Sigma’s sophomore Julie Rising singled, and then Jennifer Berry reached first on a fielder’s choice. Sophomore Ashley Hunt walked to put two on with one out. Junior Dennae Koenke reached first on another fielder’s choice. The next batter grounded out to end the inning.

The first batter grounded out, and then senior Ashlee Kaighen reached second on a passed ball. Junior Aly Arellano fouled out, and then senior Mallory Peebles tripled to bring Kaighen home (3-1).

Inning 4:

The first batter struck out, and then Niarchos singled. Mauk singled on a fielder’s choice, and then Stiling reached first on a fielder’s choice. The last batter grounded out to end the inning. Cardinals’ Weckel reached first, and then senior Bri Kaighen singled on a fielder’s choice as Weckel reached third. Freshman Julia Smith grounded out to bring Weckel home (3-2). Bri Kaighen and Magnuson scored on a passed ball as Ashlee Kaighen doubled (4-3 in favor of Cardinals).

Inning 5:

Pitching took over in the fifth inning as the count went three up, three down in the top of the fifth. The first Cardinal batter struck out, the next batter popped out to the pitcher, and the third batter struck out.

Inning 6:

The first Colts batter singled. Peacock and Niarchos popped out to the infield, and Mauk singled, and Stiling homered to put the Colts up 6-4. The Cardinals were unable to generate any runs, though they did get two batters to base.

Inning 7:

The first Colts’ batter tripled. Hunt walked and then Koenke sacrificed to bring the runner home and advance Hunt to second. A single and a passed ball brought Hunt home (8-4).

The Cardinals came to bat in the bottom of the seventh needing four to tie and five to walk off. The first batter popped out to shortstop, but Arellano singled. The next batter popped out to left field. Smith singled and made it to second on a passed ball, and then Davenport singled to bring Arellano home (8-5). Weckel tripled to bring home two runs (8-7). However, the last batter struck out on a foul ball to stop the rally short.

“We were really unified and [had] a strong focus,” Stiling said. “We knew we only had a small chance to win once they scored those two runs, but we stayed focused on the game.”