Softball goes 1-1 in third annual Sexual Assault Awareness doubleheader

The softball team went 1-1 in a doubleheader against the United States Coast Guard Academy for its third annual Sexual Assault Awareness games on Saturday afternoon.

As part of the tradition of the Sexual Assault Awareness games, both teams wore teal t-shirts with the abbreviation SAAM—Sexual Assault Awareness Month—on the back during warm-ups and took a group photo in front of home plate before the game.

Senior catcher Kallista Leonardos said the Sexual Assault Awareness games honor one of her former teammates, Jill Gearin ‘18, who started the first Sexual Assault Awareness games in 2017.

“We’ve had a previous teammate who was directly impacted by the same situation and we wanted to carry it on in her honor,” Leonardos said. “We hope that continues and that other teams are able to take part in that as well because it is a big issue, especially being a college team.”

In the first game of the doubleheader, freshman pitcher Karagan Knowles pitched a shutout game, leading the Lions to a 9-0 win over Coast Guard.

Knowles struck out six batters and gave up just one hit across five innings of play. The team managed 10 hits and totaled nine runs batted in, or RBIs. Semanchik led the team with three RBIs while Leonardos, Lowe, and Pratt each had two RBIs. Coast Guard’s lone hit came from senior catcher Sharayah Simco in the fifth inning.

Leonardos said the key to winning the first game of the doubleheader was scoring early and often.

“Being pushed by my teammates, they’re motivating me to definitely work hard and be a hitter up in the batter’s box, but I think it helped to capitalize early in the game,” Leonardos said.

In the second game, the Lions fell to Coast Guard 5-2 after giving up five runs in the first inning.

The Lions quickly fell behind as defensive errors by the Lions and strong batting from the Bears gave Coast Guard five early runs. Leonardos responded for the Lions when she hit a sacrifice fly RBI to get a run back. In the fourth inning, freshman outfielder Mallory Shofi made a hard sliding catch for a fly ball in shallow center field. The Lions scored just one more run on a sacrifice fly by Lowe, leading Coast Guard to a 5-2 win over Emerson.

Head coach Phil McElroy said Coast Guard’s strong start led to the Lions’ loss.

“Defensive mistakes and the first inning really hurt us,” McElroy said. “Offensively, we just didn’t respond after the first inning.”

Though the Lions totaled seven hits, the team gave up eight hits to Coast Guard, with five coming in the first inning. Leonardos and Lowe each recorded one RBI.

McElroy said the team needs to keep a competitive mindset against other teams in their upcoming game schedule.

“I think the last two days we played really competitive games against teams that are routinely in the playoffs in this conference,” McElroy said. “Hopefully, we can build on the positive part of the fact that we’re competing.”

The Lions place eighth out of ten teams in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference with a record of 2-7. The Lions will play their next game at Suffolk University in a non-conference doubleheader matchup on April 9 at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. 

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