Softball team splits Smith doubleheader
By Jeremy Hylton
Behind the solid pitching of freshman Colleen Kaiser, the softball team scored a come-from-behind victory over Smith on Saturday. The team lost the second half of the double header, a non-conference game against Smith, and held steady at 2-2 for the season. The Engineers are 1-1 in the New England Women's Eight Conference, after losing at Mount Holyoke in the season opener.
The Engineers committed three errors in the first inning and allowed the Pioneers to jump out to an early 5-1 lead. "We started off poorly with several defensive mistakes early . . . but the freshman pitcher hung tough. She did a really good job," said Coach Jean Heiney.
The teams held the scoring even through the next two innings. In the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Jennifer McMurray started the scoring after her lead-off single. Two more runs followed in that inning and the Engineers copped four more in the fifth. The defense kept Smith from scoring through those two innings, and only allowed one more score -- off an error in the sixth inning.
Third baseman Denise Nemchev '92 led the Engineers offense, hitting five times at five at-bats with one RBI. Sophomore Showna Chang was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs.
Smith won the second game of the doubleheader, 5-0, after the game remained tied through the eighth inning. The second game did not count toward the team's conference record, because the NEW8 permits teams to meet each other only once during the season.
The second game saw the Pioneers play many of their second string players early in the game, after bringing a total of 18 players to the contest. The game was tied 0-0 going into the top of the ninth, when Smith ripped the Engineers for five runs.
The team is pleased with its .500 start to the season, but hopes to do better. "I think we're going to do pretty well this year. We have our whole infield back and our hitting is looking up," said Chang.
Heiney believes the team has a shot at the conference title this year. "Anything can happen this year. We don't have any real strengths or real weaknesses. We were 3-3 in the conference last year and we hope to do better," said Heiney.
Over spring break, the Engineers played in a week-long tournament in Orlando, FL. The team was upbeat about their performance, despite posting a 2-8 record. The trip was primarily intended to provide training for the NEW8 that has just begun, said Chang.