Stevenson’s softball team continues to fight despite being 6-18 overall going into the back half of the season.
The team broke a 14-game losing streak after posting a pair of victories following a non-conference doubleheader versus Penn State Harrisburg on April 9.
The Mustangs posted their first shutout of the season with a 9-0 five-inning victory in the series opener before grabbing a 2-1 victory in game two.
In game one, with two outs in the third inning, the Mustangs scored five runs on five straight hits, including a two-RBI double by sophomore Kayla Maggio. Senior Naomi Fields and juniors Kate Finnen and Tiffany McKee also recorded RBIs.
“It is tough to remain positive when you are not winning consistently,” said McKee. “But I am proud of our team for attacking each opportunity and putting together solid performances both in the field and up at bat,” she said.
Junior Jasmyn Ogletree pitched her second consecutive three-up, three-down inning in the fourth before Stevenson added four more runs in their offensive half of the inning. Both Fields and Finnen added a second RBI. Ogletree finished her one-hit shutout in the fifth inning for her sixth career complete game shutout.
“When the team gets out to a quick lead, it gives us a lot of confidence, especially with our pitching,” said coach Julia Culotta during episode four of “The Julia Culotta Show.” “We really started pounding the strike zone,” she said of her pitchers.
This pair of victories helped set the tone for Stevenson’s non-conference game against Frostburg State on April 11. The Mustangs split the double header with a 9-3 loss in the first game, only to bounce back and win 6-1 in the second.
Both games were a battle of the bats for Stevenson and Frostburg State. In game one, with two outs in the third, the Mustangs got three consecutive RBIs from McKee, Maggio and freshman Morghan Fulton to challenge the two runs scored by Frostburg State at the top of the inning. A three-run homer by the Bobcats in the fifth inning pushed their lead back to six, meaning that three straight singles by McKee, Fulton and Maggio in the seventh were not enough firepower. McKee went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, making it her eighth multi-hit game.
In game two, the Mustangs scored five runs on four hits in the opening inning as Ogletree hit a three-run home run before McKee blasted a two-run shot to centerfield. McKee leads the team with six extra-base hits this season.
A leadoff hit by freshman Erin Stephey helped push the Mustangs’ lead to five as she scored on an RBI by Fields.
Going into their final games of the season, the team is looking to use the momentum from their recent wins to play to their potential.
“Our coach has a saying that we should play like a river and never a flood,” said McKee. “If we are able to compete all seven innings with control like a river and no damaging floods or let downs, then we will be able to produce more wins,” said McKee.
The Mustangs return to action for a doubleheader at Alvernia University on April 22.