After a long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marist Women’s Softball team got to step on the field for the first time in over a year. A day that was filled with anticipation and excitement, ended in heartbreak and frustration, as the Marist Softball team lost their first two games of the season against the Monmouth Hawks. The first game was a tough pill to swallow, as the Marist Red Foxes lost by a score of 4-3 in eight innings. In the second game, they lost by a score of 4-1.
The first outing, for the most part, was relatively uneventful. In the second inning graduate outfielder, Ali Milam broke the gridlock with a solo home run to right-center field, to put the Red Foxes up 1-0. On the mound for the Red Foxes was junior Calista Phippen, who was a workhorse out on the mound. Phippen pitched all eight innings throwing over 140 pitches, and managed to get out of multiple tough spots to keep her team in the game. One of those tough spots came in the top of the fourth inning when Phippen managed to get out of a bases-loaded jam without giving up a run.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Red Foxes formulated a bit of a two-out rally, which was started by sophomore right fielder Shea Walsh who lined a base hit up the middle. It was finished off by senior center fielder Hunter Hand, who drove in Walsh with an RBI single to right field, which gave the Red Foxes a 2-0 lead.
At the top of the seventh inning, the Red Foxes were three outs away from winning the first game of the doubleheader. Unfortunately, for Phippen, she had to face Monmouth junior shortstop Lindsey Baron, who already had two hits in this game. Baron would come up big for Monmouth hitting a two-run home run, which tied the game and lead to extra innings.
In extras, in the top of the eighth inning, Monmouth took a 4-2 lead off a two-run single from senior second baseman Deangie Jimenez. In the bottom of the eighth, the Red Foxes tried to rally back and managed to cut the lead 4-3, but were ultimately stopped short. The Red Foxes were shut down by senior pitcher Alyssa Irons.
Despite the outcome of the first game, the Red Foxes knew that they had a job to do, which was to try and go out and win the second game. In a similar fashion to the first game, the second matchup was all about the pitching. The Red Foxes had sophomore pitcher, Kiley Myers, on the mound, and she was mowing down the Monmouth lineup through the majority of the game. Until, the top of the fifth inning when Jimenez belted a home run off of Myers for the first hit of the game, which put Monmouth up 1-0.
The bottom of the sixth inning is definitely a point in the game the Red Foxes would like to have back. After starting to get something going against Monmouth, sophomore pitcher Kylie Gletow was up with Marist having had runners on first and second with two outs, but ultimately they couldn’t get it done.
It would be the top of the seventh inning where things would start to go awry for the Red Foxes. After putting a few runners on base, senior center fielder Morgan Maziarz crushed a three-run home run giving Monmouth a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, junior outfielder Alyssa Yarem came up and hit a pinch-hit solo home run, which cut the deficit to 4-1. The Red Foxes were unable to come back, losing 4-1.
Despite having just lost two close games back to back, head coach Joe Ausanio was looking at things in an optimistic way. When asked if he still feels frustrated with the way the games played out despite his positive attitude, Ausanio said, “Honestly, yes, I’m always frustrated when we play good enough to win and we don’t. But again, it’s one of those things where you have to kind of get into the rhythm of the game.” Coach Ausanio was proud of the fact that they gave it their all against the two-time defending MAAC champions.
Today, the Red Foxes will face Monmouth in another doubleheader at noon that they hope will end differently, than the results they had yesterday afternoon.
Edited by Bridget Reilly