Softball continues early season success

Edward Rudman Sports Writer

The Owls softball team is off to a hot start, winning three out of four games in a weekend series against Le Moyne College, improving their record to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in Northeast 10 conference play.

“It feels really good, it’s a great start to the season,” said infielder Sara Buscetto, a graduate student. “I wish we took all the games, but you know, it was good to get that loss out of the way and we’re hot right now, so we’re going to keep it rolling into the week.”

The Owls played a total of four games during the series against Le Moyne, split between two doubleheaders, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday.

They won their first game on Saturday 3-2. Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Owls were down 2-1 but were able to get a walk off win. They scored two runs in the final inning.

The Owls dropped their second game of the doubleheader on Saturday, their first loss of the season. Le Moyne put together a strong offensive outing and won the game 12-7. Heading into Sunday, the team was ready to end the weekend on a high note, as they won the first game 5-3 and the second one 8-4.

“We really felt energized top to bottom throughout the entire weekend and yes, the days are long, but it’s a mental thing,” said Buscetto. “I think we’re all in it together and we all picked each other up when started to have those sluggish moments and that made the difference for us this time.”

Buscetto had six hits on 13 at bats throughout the series and notched eight stolen bases. With that total, Buscetto moved into sole possession of second place in career steals as an Owl, with 56. Nicole Buch holds the school record at 64, according to Southern’s athletic website. Buscetto has 11 stolen bases through the first six games of the season.

Offensively, the Owls are firing on all cylinders, as they’ve scored 36 runs in their first six games. most since they scored 44 in 2012.

The team made sure they were prepared to show they can be a contender in the conference this year.

“Our situational hitting is really great right now,” said Interim Head Coach Christine Akcer. “We worked on that in practice all week, so it was just people doing their jobs and putting the ball in play, being productive, and not letting those 1,2,3 innings happen to us on offense.”

Pitcher Jazmyn Martinez, a senior, got the start on the mound for games one and three of the series, winning both her outings and improving her season record to 3-0.

She pitched a complete game in game one, allowing one run. In game three, Martinez pitched 5.2 innings and allowed three runs scored. She struck out 10 batters in total throughout her two starts, five in each game.

Three freshmen made their collegiate debut on Saturday: pitcher and outfielder Rachel Miller, outfielder Emily Lange and infielder Katrina Roy. Miller pitched 2.2 innings as a reliever in game two, while Lange came in as a pinch hitter and Roy as a pinch runner.

“A lot of players were able to play today and get playing time to see how it is and get some extra reps,” said outfielder Liz DeRosa, a junior.

Looking ahead, the Owls have an out of conference doubleheader today, Wednesday, March 24, against Franklin Pierce University. The first game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Their next NE10 matchup will be against Adelphi University in a four game weekend series on March 27 and 28.

“Obviously we want to keep it rolling. It’s going to take a lot of focus for us and we kind of have to prove ourselves in the conference,” said Akcer. “I think the girls are ready to prove people wrong and just make a statement this year, especially after having last year taken away from us when we felt like that was our year, so we’re definitely trying to make this our year.”

The Owls currently hold the top spot in the Southwest Division going into next weeks games. Adelphi University is a close second.

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