SOFT: Colonels start the season strong with 4-2 record

The softball team got their first taste of the season during the 2022 Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic. In the six games played in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the Colonels went 4-2 to open up their season.

On the first day of the Classic, the Colonels faced off against Cairn University and Penn State Mont Alto in a doubleheader. The Colonels swept the doubleheader, defeating Cairn 9-1 and Penn State Mont Alto 10-2.

Senior pitcher Rhia Aurand was the victor against Cairn, allowing just four baserunners with seven strikeouts in her five-inning complete game.

In the game against Penn State Mont Alto, junior pitcher Hope Mullins earned the win by throwing a complete game of her own. She allowed two earned runs in five innings while striking out 9. Senior shortstop Erin Cabry went 3-for-6 with one double, one RBI and five runs scored between the two games.

“As a whole, we’re very pleased with how we performed offensively,” said head coach Jackie Klahold. “The players were disciplined in their plate appearances and worked on attacking the zone when good pitches would come.”

The second day of the Classic was another doubleheader for the Colonels. In the first game, Wilkes defeated NC Wesleyan 10-0 thanks to another complete-game victory for Aurand. She threw seven, shutout innings with seven strikeouts to stifle the Battling Bishops.

Senior designated player Emma Stauffer went 2-for-3 with one walk and two RBI in the contest. In the second game of this doubleheader, Wilkes suffered their first loss of the trip to Kean University by a score of 6-3. Mullins went 3-for-4 with one RBI and Cabry went 2-for-3 with one run scored in the loss.

“Coming from a not-so-great performance last season, we really wanted to turn it around this year,” said Aurand. “We gained two new pitching coaches this season, Coach Jordan and Coach Kristen, and they did an excellent job preparing us by helping us increase our strike percentage, improve our mental game on the mound and work on our pitching endurance.”

After a two-day hiatus, the Colonels played their third and final doubleheader of the Classic. In the first game, the Colonels faced Penn State Abington and won 11-3.

Wilkes got off to a hot start in this matchup by scoring five runs in the first, giving them all the offense they would need to win the game.

Senior first baseman Jessie Smith supplied the big blow in the inning by bringing in three runs via a bases-clearing triple.

In the second game, the Colonels lost their final game of the Classic in an 11-5 defeat to Thiel College. Sophomore third baseman Hayden Calaman went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored against Thiel.

“I think the main contributing factor to our victories was that we went out there and played as a team to our level and had fun doing it,” said Stauffer. “We were all super excited to have the opportunity to play in warmer weather and be able to play on the dirt again.”

The Beacon/Ariel Reed Senior Jessie Smith prepares to swing against Lycoming College on Senior Day, April 17 2021.