Shaking off opening day jitters, the varsity softball team rallied for a gritty 10-9 victory over Bridgewater State after dropping the first game of their double header, 7-3.
In the opening game, the nervous squad committed a slew of errors, letting good pitches go by for strikes and popping the ball up in the stiff breeze for easy outs.
Freshman pitcher Inga Parsons initially appeared distracted in her first start, allowing seven runs in her first three innings, and throwing only 25 percent of her pitches for strikes. But then Parsons settled down to shut out Bridgewater over the final four innings.
Unfortunately, the Bears pitcher, Sara Pacetti, denied any chance of a Crimson comeback. The pitcher threw like Fernando Valenzuela, limiting the Crimson to eight hits and two earned runs.
The game ended typically--in sloppy Crimson fashion. With two out in the seventh, star Crimson slugger Pat Home ripped a long hit driving in two runs, but leadoff hitter Alissa Friedman got caught trying for an extra base for the final out.
The second game threatened to mirror the first Friedman quickly got on base in the first with an opposite field single, but them just as quickly killed it by trying to steal and failing.
In the Bear half of the inning, two straight Crimson errors, a walk and a passed ball led to three unearned runs and another Bridgewater lead.
Then the Crimson decided enough was enough. "That was the turning point," said Coach John Wentzell. "After losing the first game like that and falling three runs behind we could've rolled over, but instead we showed a lot of heart."
From that nadir, Crimson pitcher. Ellen "Sprout" Jakovic took over Although her teammates committed an abysmal six errors behind her, which resulted in eight unearned runs, the fast Jakovic pitched a gutsy game, closing the door on the Bears for the final four innings and allowing the Crimson to repent for its mistakes. With the score tied at 9-to-9 in the fifth the Bears put runners on first and third with two out. The game was in the balance, and Jakovic fought the Bears designated hitter to a 3 and 2 count before walking her. Then with the bases loaded, Jakovic struck out Bridgeport's leadoff hitter on three straight pitches.
"Before the game I was thinking. "What am I doing out here? I'm an outfielder," said Jakovic, the senior center fielder who took the mound for the first time. "But when we fell behind, I tried not to get upset."
The hitting hero who salvaged the afternoon for the Crimson was Landya Boyer, who smashed the tieing and game winning RBI in the nightcap.
With the split some doubts are laid to rest. The Crimson may not be able to destroy teams 25-2, like last year (Last year's top hitter, Pat Horne, batted a fine 444 for the day, but still well below last year's over 660 BA), but in Jakovic they have found a reliable starting pitcher, and in catcher Gill Raney, who threw out seven out of twelve runners who tried to steal. Most importantly. "We've got heart," Wentzell said.