Colonials split weekend series with Titans


Kristyna Mala drives in a run in game two. Photo Credit: Tyler Gallo

Tyler Gallo, Copy Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP– There was a tale of two games in yesterday’s doubleheader split, but today, softball was right back in action against Detroit Mercy in search of two wins.

The Colonials (7-5) were shut down by Titans (2-2) pitcher Liz Murphy in the first game, dropping it 2-1, but their bats came to life in the second half for the second-straight day, winning 5-3 and weaving out of danger in the field numerous times.

GAME 1: Titans 2, Colonials 1

The pitching matchup was the same as the first game yesterday, with Dana Vatakis (3-2, 2.33 ERA) opposing Liz Murphy (1-0, 0.78). After each pitcher tossed nine innings yesterday, they were looking for a repeat of that in this game.

It seemed like it would be as both pitchers pitched three scoreless innings, scattering a few hits and walks throughout. However, Vatakis ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth, loading the bases two separate times. While she got two outs without a run coming across, Maddy Heilner flicked a run-scoring single into left to give the Titans the first run of the afternoon.

RMU answered right back in the bottom half. After Murphy recorded two quick outs, Madison Riggle fought off several tough pitches before depositing a solo home run to center field to tie the game at one. Erika Bell crushed a single into right immediately following the home run, but that is all the Colonials got in the fourth.

Detroit Mercy pressured Vatakis again in the following inning. They loaded the bases with one out, chasing her from the game in favor of Riggle. Riggle allowed a single to the first batter she faced, Alyssa Lang, to give the Titans another lead, and that would be all the runs they scored in the fifth.

Vatakis’ final line: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 3 K

Unfortunately for the Colonials, they had several opportunities to get on the board in the final innings but did not scratch a run across. Avery Winchell bunted into a game-ending double play to give the Titans a 2-1 win.

GAME 2: Colonials 5, Titans 3

Jane Garver (0-1, 4.04) started for the Colonials, her first appearance of the series. Olivia Warrington made her first start and appearance of the season for Detroit Mercy.

Garver pitched a scoreless first and Warrington did not fare as well in her half, allowing a leadoff double to Kristyna Mala, who came around to score on a Catalina Saxen single, putting the Colonials up a run.

Maddy Heilner was a thorn in RMU’s side again, driving in the tying run in the top of the second. Garver got the final out with a runner on third as McKenna Tanguay grounded back to her with the score tied.

The bottom of the second was again not kind to Warrington. A few hits and walks occurred, and a wild pitch scored Erika Bell. Mala drove in a run with a single to stretch the Colonials’ lead to two.

Erika Bell followed in the next inning by crushing a ball to center field that tipped off the glove of Tanguay and rolled to the wall, scoring Saxen and extending the lead once more. Avery Winchell cranked another ball off the wall to make it a 5-1 game, scoring Bell.

Detroit Mercy threatened in the fifth, loading the bases with nobody out. It had all the makings of a long inning after Garver walked in a run, but she got a pair of strikeouts and a fielder’s choice to weave out of danger, celebrating emphatically after the second strikeout.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Reese Ruhlman launched a solo home run to draw the Titans closer.

Those would be the final runs scored of the game as the Colonials took the second half of the doubleheader for the second straight day, winning 5-3.

They will be back in action next weekend in Green Bay to take on the Phoenix.