The softball team opened their 2013 season this past weekend at the Red and Black Showcase hosted by the University of Georgia in Athens. In the opening game against Ohio State, the Lady Eagles fell to Ohio State, ending the game 17-5. Senior Chelsey Schoenfeldt helped push the Lady Eagles to an early lead against the Buckeyes with a two-run homer, thanks in part to senior Jenna Harbin drawing out a two-out walk.
In the following afternoon, Winthrop defeated Elon with a score of 4-1. Thanks to a RBI single by Schoenfeldt, the Lady Eagles started with a strong 1-0 lead. This RBI gave way for sophomore Kristy Noble to have one walk away. This propelled senior Kathryn Eberlin to follow with a double to right center to push the Lady Eagles to a 2-0 lead.
It was at the beginning of the second inning where the Lady Eagles got a huge lead, continuing with a score of 4-0 into the game. Sophomore Christine DeWitt earned her first career home run with a solo shot to the center. Thanks to mistakes from Elon’s Zarne Glover, who made two strikeouts, Winthrop progressed further into the game. Towards the end of the game, sophomore Sutton Watson scattered nine hits allowing one run with a walk and six strikeouts.
It was in the third inning when Ohio State tied the game. Sophomore Sarah Allen struck out the first batter, but a passed ball allowed the batter to reach first. After this, the Buckeyes took a 6-2 lead in the top of the fourth with two outs with the bases loaded. The Lady Eagles fought back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Junior McKenzi Corn took second thanks to Watson. Freshman Kim Ryder took advantage of the runners moving over and earned her first career RBI. Soon after, Ohio State added three runs in the fifth and sixth innings and five more in the seventh as the game officially ran out of Winthrop’s hands.
The following day, the Lady Eagles took on the #8th ranked and tournament host Georgia and sought a rematch with Ohio State. Winthrop fell to both, losing 5-3 to the Bulldogs and 4-3 to the Buckeyes.
Winthrop took on the Buckeyes for round two in the first game of the day. The innings were close up until the beginning of the seventh. Here, Schoenfeldt led off with a single up in the middle and was replaced by Ryder. Senior Teja Durante assisted the team with a pinch-hit single through the right side and displaced runners and first and second with no outs. Freshman Dallas King also got an inning-ending double play to send the game into extra innings. Schoenfeldt gave the Lady Eagles a 1-0 lead with a shot to center.
Despite this, the Buckeyes quickly returned with a 2-1 lead. Ohio State’s Alyson Mott was able to score on a double to right center by Caitlin Conrad to tie the game. Thanks to a score from Conrad on a passed ball, the Buckeyes were able to take the lead.
Later that afternoon, Winthrop took on the host team, Georgia. Early in the game, the Lady Eagles struggled against the Bulldogs. The score rose to 4-0 up until the fourth inning, when the team used base runners, which paid off in the sixth inning. Eberlin earned a three-run shot to the left. The Lady Eagles still struggled, and the final score reflected this. On this day, sophomore Kelsey Ritter finished with four hits that included career high three hits in one game. Zuehlke had three hits while Schoenfeldt had two.
Next, the Lady Eagles will compete in the Spartan Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C. at USC Upstate. Winthrop will first face George Mason at noon andw Samford at 2 p.m. The following day, the team will match up against USC Upstate at 2 p.m. and Bowling Green at 6 p.m.