Softball splits doubleheader with Cleveland State


Photo credit: Jonathan Hanna

Owen Krepps and Owen Krepps

MOON TOWNSHIP — The Robert Morris University softball team (6-21 overall, 0-0 NEC) salvaged a split with the Cleveland State Vikings (7-21 overall, 0-3 Horizon) this evening at home. The first game ended in 6-5 win for the Colonials with Abrielle McCartney’s RBI single in the seventh inning, proving to be the difference for RMU. But defensive errors caused the second game to slip for RMU’s grasp as they ended up losing 8-5.

Pitching was split between Katie Gasvoda and Madison Riggle in the first game, with Dana Vatakis and senior Laura Coulter splitting the second. The most experienced of the bunch being Coulter, who had five strikeouts in total, with Riggle having three along with a win.

“Laura did a great job today, it is one of those things you kind of get the third time through the order and it can be really tough for a pitcher to get through, but she has been fantastic all year. Dana didn’t necessarily have it today, but we put her in a spot that should could succeed in, but it just didn’t turn out that way. Overall I think we had some pretty good spots for a midweek on our pitching,” interim head coach Jexx Varner had to say about his pitchers.

As mentioned before, McCartney’s late single was the RBI the Colonials needed to win the first game. McCartney proved to be an X-factor once again for the Colonials team offensively in the second game as she scored two runs as well as having a triple.

Heading into the sixth inning in the second game, it was 2-1 RMU and it looked like we were in store for another close game like the first. But minor errors started to pile up for the Colonials as the Vikings scored three runs at the top of the inning, which made it 4-2. After the Colonials finally got three outs they immediately responded though as Taryn Miller hit a single run home run which would try and get the offense rolling.

The momentum off of the home run led to a great opportunity for RMU with bases loaded late in the sixth. But the Vikings absolutely crushed this momentum for RMU with a double play at first and third. After that, the Vikings were able to get another quick out in the form of a strikeout and go back on offense where they would add four runs to their lead and eventually finishing the game ahead 8-5.

“We had a couple plays defensively that if we make, we save some runs. There are three plays that I can think off right off the top of my head defensively that if we make they don’t score and now it is a 5-5 ballgame instead of an 8-5 ballgame. You get to these type of games and it is always the little things, especially as we get into conference it is always those little things that are huge for us,” stated Varner.

Moving forward the Colonials they will finally enter NEC play this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on the road against the Central Connecticut Blue Devils (11-10 overall, 0-0 NEC). Coach Varner alluded to the Colonials building off of this series as they move into NEC play post-game.

“Midweeks are about your timing and your rhythm and getting yourself in a good flow and feeling confident going into the weekend. You try some different things with different people in different sports maybe that they haven’t been in so that you know that going into the weekend which is the most important time.”