Softball team rallies to sweep Principia


With his team trailing 4-0 in the second game of a doubleheader at Principia College on April 11, Webster University softball coach Chris Eaton made an unusual pitching change when he called on freshman Samantha Powers.
Despite not playing for the first month and a half of the season because she had her appendix removed, Powers shut down the Panthers and the Gorloks rallied for a 12-7 win. Webster won the first game of the doubleheader 6-3.
“It was her first college game ever,” Eaton said. “When I called her name, everyone was a bit surprised. The girls told me she was nervous, but she settled down pretty well after the first batter.”
Powers pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing only three runs on eight hits.
As Powers was holding Principia in check, Webster rallied behind some timely hitting. They scored seven runs in the second inning alone as they strung six singles together.
“This is a good example of the girls not trying to do too much,” Eaton said.” We have to keep playing our game.”
The Gorloks played with more energy than the day before, as Washington University swept two games from Webster. The Gorloks scored a total of three runs against WashU.
“We came in much more confident against Principia,” said junior Chelsea Schaffer. “We had more pep in our step and finally got two much-needed wins.”
In the first game of the Principia doubleheader, sophomore Ashley Meager started and pitched 5 innings to pick up her seventh win. She allowed three runs on five hits and struck out six. Freshman Trisha Thompson came on in relief and picked up saves in both the Principia games.
“Ashley pitched well in the first game,” Eaton said. “We didn’t even know if she was going to play because she was hurt at WashU.”
The Gorloks went scoreless until the fourth inning, when sophomore Kaytlin Burczak hit a 2-run home run to put Webster in the lead. Schaffer, who leads the Gorloks with a .439 batting average, had a double in the next inning that drove in two runs to increase Webster’s lead to 4-0. It was all the runs the Gorloks would need.
Schaffer said patience was the key against the Principia pitchers.
“We really needed to adjust better to the speed of these pitchers and we did that; it paid off,” Schaffer said.
Junior Hanna Brindsi, who played at John A. Logan College last year, had three hits and three RBI to help the scoring output.
“It’s different here than playing in junior college,” Brindsi said. “There are fewer games here, so it makes each one that much more important.”
Webster has a difficult task on April 16, as they face undefeated conference leader Eureka College in a SLIAC doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Blackburn Park. The top four teams in the conference advance to the SLIAC tournament. The winner of the tourney advances to regionals. Webster is in third place in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-2 record. The Gorloks are 16-12 overall.
“We need to take one game at a time,” Brindsi said. “There is more pressure now, so we must focus on each game we are playing in.”
Webster travels to Jacksonville, Illinois to face MacMurray College on April 15 before returning home for the doubleheader against Eureka.

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