December 4, 2020

‘Bomb squad’ leads softball team to 8th straight win

The Webster University softball team has relied on power all season to score runs, but during their current eight-game win streak, the team has taken their offensive output to a whole new level.
During the span of victories, the Gorloks have outscored their opponents by a total of 82 to 18, including a doubleheader sweep of MacMurray College 15-0 and 18-2, on April 21 in Jacksonville, Illinois.
Webster’s power has come mostly from the middle of their lineup. No. 3 hitter Chelsea Schaffer (.437 batting average, .728 slugging percentage), clean-up hitter Jessica Arcangel (.373 batting average, 25 RBI) and No. 5 hitter Hanna Brindisi (8 home runs, 38 RBI and .660 slugging percentage) have had great seasons for the Gorloks.
“Everyone got in the groove all at once,” Arcangel said. “After we lost to Greenville (on April 6), we had in our mind that we weren’t going to lose another game.”
Arcangel said early in the season, Brindisi, Schaffer and herself formed a group that they called the “bomb squad.” The group honors the Gorloks’ power hitters.
“I am not sure who started the bomb squad, but we knew we had a lot of power in the lineup,” Brindisi said. “We decided that every time one of us hit a home run, you would get put in the bomb squad. It started out as a running joke, but it’s no joke anymore.”
Arcangel said other players are welcome additions to the group, which now totals seven.
“You get to join the bomb squad when you hit a home run,” Arcangel said. “When you round third base, you hold your hands in the shape of a ‘B’ for a bomb.”
In the first game of the MacMurray doubleheader, Arcangel had three hits and six RBI. One of her hits was a grand slam that gave the Gorloks a 15-0 lead. Brindisi chipped in three hits as Webster had 15 total hits.
“We are getting timely hitting from our one through nine hitters,” Brindisi said. “We have to stay focused on what we have to do to win.”
In the second game of the doubleheader, Webster spread out 13 hits amongst their lineup, as 10 different players got hits. Schaffer had two hits to pace a balanced attack.
“I try to get a pitch in a sweet spot,” Schaffer said. “I don’t feel any pressure. I try not to look at my stats. I don’t want to lose focus on what I am doing and on the success of the team.”
Brindisi said it’s important for the Gorloks to play up to their potential as they prepare for the stretch run of the season.
“We can’t let the name of what teams we are playing get in our head,” Brindisi said. “Everyone knows Fontbonne is good. We just have to go out and play our game. We also can’t play down to our competition like we did at Greenville.”
Webster is now 12-2 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and 22-12 overall. They are second place in the SLIAC, one game behind Fontbonne University.
The Gorloks will conclude the regular season with doubleheaders at Maryville University on April 28 and at Westminster College on April 30. The SLIAC tournament begins May 5 with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.

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