Robert Morris Bounces Back After Game One Loss to Split Double Header with Purdue Fort Wayne


The softball team split the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, losing 3-1 in the first game 3-1 and winning the second game 4-2 Photo credit: Cole Brennan

Samuel Goldberg

MOON TOWNSHIP— On what was a beautiful day at the North Athletic Complex, the Robert Morris softball team (17-18, 7-5 Horizon League) played a doubleheader against Purdue Fort-Wayne (16-21, 8-5) on Friday afternoon. The Colonials would lose game one by a score of 3-1 and win game two 4-2.

Jane Garver was on the mound for the Colonials in game one which turned into a pitchers duel. Both Garver and Gracie Brinkerhoff, the starting pitcher for the Mastodons in game one, pitched four scoreless innings before the first run was scored.

Taryn Jenkins broke the ice and the scoreless tie with an RBI single. Epiphany Hang singled shortly after that to put the Mastodons up three runs, and the Colonials could never recover from that deficit.

RMU would try and battle back in bottom of the sixth and eventually scored their first run of game via a Meadow Sacadura double, but their momentum would be halted. A diving catch by Mastodons third baseman Brooke Lickey saved at least one run and ended the sixth inning.

Despite Anna Resnik going 4-for-4 from the leadoff spot, the Colonials would fall short in game one.

Head coach Jexx Varner spoke about the positives with Anna Resnik since she was moved to the leadoff position.

“We finally made the move to jump her to the leadoff spot, and it’s paid off,” Varner said. “She’s got a very consistent swing, a very consistent approach, a good eye, and she’s a ball magnet for hit-by-pitches. That combination puts this lineup in a really good place when she’s leading off and getting on base 45 percent of the time. That gives us a really good chance to score some runs and do some good things on offense.”

In game two, the Mastodons would once again score first, leading 2-0 after three innings.

While it seemed like the Robert Morris bats were going to remain cold, Dana Vatakis made sure she gave the offense as much help as she could, pitching another complete game and not allowing a run after the third inning.

“This was a big game for Dana,” Varner said postgame. “She was beating herself up a little bit too much from the Youngstown series. This was a big response from her, especially early on. She needed to work through some of that stuff, and I think it was a big confidence boost for her”

RMU cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the fourth inning after Jess Matheny would single home Alaina Koutsogiani who tripled right before.

The Colonials would earn their first lead of the day and series after scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth. The returning Avery Winchell doubled in two runs and was immediately followed by Alaina Koutsogiani who doubled home Winchell.

“I told them between the top and bottom of the 4th inning that you just gotta win the second half,” Varner said. “For all the things that had gone wrong in the first half of the game, we were only down 2-0. We made our adjustments and did just that. I’m proud of that response.”

As previously mentioned, Vatakis allowed no more runs and the Colonials would win game two.

Varner mentioned some adjustments that could be made before tomorrow’s series finale.

“We just need to execute. PFW’s first pitcher, we knew exactly what was happening with her, but we never made adjustments. There’s a good chance she throws again tomorrow, but we just need to execute the plan accordingly. We’re prepared, it’s just a matter of executing.”

The Colonials look to win tomorrow’s rubber match against Purdue Fort Wayne at noon at the North Athletic Complex.