The softball team continued their stretch on the road at the George Mason University Tournament and picked up three wins in four games to move the Hawks to 7-3 on the season.
The Hawks opened up the tournament with a grueling extra-inning battle with host George Mason that ended with a 6-5 victory for MU. Senior Jordan Barnett threw a ten-inning complete game, totaling six strikeouts and allowing three runs on seven hits.
Head coach Louie Berndt said, “You can just see it, I think the determination, the energy, and enthusiasm is there, where in the past I didn’t see it.”
George Mason took an early lead in the game posting two runs in the first, while the MU bats were relatively quiet as they weren’t able to score a run until the fourth. In the fourth, sophomore Kayleena Flores was able to explode into a pitch that resulted in a triple and brought in a run. Flores was also able to score on an error on the throw home which tied the game.
Neither team found any more success at the plate until Flores brought in two more runs on a double to left-center in the eighth inning. George Mason then was able to knot things up when Brooke Blankenship brought in a run and then was brought home by a Megan Blank triple.
The teams then were at a stalemate until the tenth, when senior Kayla Weiser brought home the go-ahead run to give the Hawks the lead. The lead was then extended to 6-4 when senior Christina Scherr brought in Weiser on a sacrifice fly. Due to errors in the bottom of the inning, George Mason was able to cut the lead to one run. The Hawks were able to end the comeback as they put together a double play to finally close the game.
“Everybody on this team has a role to play, and when they’re given the opportunity you have to take advantage of it,” Berndt said. “I think the unity of this year’s team is going to lead us to great things.”
On the next day of the tournament, the Hawks were able to come up with wins against both the Cornell Big Red 2-1 and George Mason for a second time in the tournament 3-1, pushing their win streak to three games.
Freshman Cerissa Rivera pitched against the Big Red and finished with six strikeouts and only allowed one run in her complete game win. The difference in the game was a fourth inning RBI by junior Kaitie that broke an early stalemate to give the Hawks a one run lead. The run proved to be the game-winner as Rivera was lights-out on the mound for the remainder of the game.
The rematch of the teams that went ten innings the night before saw the Hawks garner an early lead and never squander it. Weiser brought home a run on a double and senior Kate Kuzma added to the lead with a single to bring in Weiser to push the lead to 2-0. George Mason cut the lead to one when Lauren McColgan singled in the third, but MU solidified their lead in the sixth when freshman Nikki Sandelier scored on a passed ball.
The Hawks did not find as much success on the final day of the tournament dropping the final game to the Longwood Lancers 8-4. The Hawks were up early in the game after Schumacher brought in a run in the first. The lead was then cushioned by RBI’s from sophomore Vanessa Cardoza and junior Alicia DeSanto, extending the lead to 3-0 in the second.
Barnett started the game for the Hawks but gave up five runs in a huge third inning for the Lancers and senior Lauren Sulick was brought in for relief before the end of the inning. Longwood then added three more in the sixth to lock up the win and give the Hawks their only loss of the tournament. The Hawks are now 4-1 in away games and 3-2 in neutral site games.
The team will look to rebound when they leave tournament style play for the first time this season on Wednesday, March 13 at 3:00 pm as they take on in-state rival Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ.
PHOTO COURTESY of MU Photography