By Morgan Taylor
The Lewis & Clark women’s softball team started their 2018 season strong. They began with a trip to Southern California to compete against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) on Feb. 9. LC came up just short in their first game with a score of zero to two. Execution during the game seemed to be filled with early season jitters, LC performed five errors and neither team scored until after the third inning.
The Pioneers played against Whittier College on Feb. 10. Team Captain Ateisha Norton ’18 led the team to a win with two home runs. LC quickly developed a lead, scoring three runs in the first inning, two runs in the third and fourth, and a final run in the fifth.
On Feb. 11, the Pioneers had their last game in California against the University of La Verne. The game was incredibly close, neither team scored a run until the sixth inning. Even with no errors made, LC lost one to zero despite having the same number of hits as La Verne.
Hannah Urbach ’21, a new utility player, had the only walk of the game.
“We are definitely fully capable of beating (La Verne and CMS) if we string together more hits and create less errors,” Urbach said. “I have no doubt that we can do that in future games.”
La Verne was ranked seventh in the regional west during the 2017 season, just below Whitworth University and Linfield College. The close game against La Verne puts LC in a competitive position within the Northwest Conference.
LC’s first home game was supposed to occur on Feb. 17 against Northwest University, but it was cancelled due to snow.
Last year, LC ended the season sixth in the Northwest Conference (NWC) standings. On Feb. 24, the Pioneers came out with a win against Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), who is ranked third in the NWC. This was the first conference game of the season. In the double header, LC started off well with a run in the first inning, only to be met with three PLU runs in the second inning. LC came back in the third and fourth innings, scoring three runs.
The next day, LC played another double header and won in the second game with a score of 10-5. The first run of the game was a result of an RBI by Emily Drevdahl ’19. Drevdahl also stole home to bring in the second run.
“We just finished our series with PLU and pulled out two wins,” Drevdahl said. “This was a great start to conference since PLU is a great team and we never gave up in any of our games this weekend.”
The team started their preseason workouts long before their first game, diligently conditioning since the fall with coach Angela Dendas-Pleasant. They did early morning workouts all of fall semester to get ready for the season.
“Coach Ange really helped us out and pushed us when it came to early morning conditioning, which consisted of running and lifting,” Urbach said.
Holly Hale ’19 is looking forward to the season and the competition ahead.
“PLU has two senior pitchers, which always makes them tough,” Hale said. “Whitworth won our conference last year and is always a good matchup.”
In the coming weeks, LC softball will be playing several conference teams. LC will be up against Willamette University on Mar. 10 and 11. The next home games are on Mar. 17 and 18 when the Pioneers will be playing the University of Puget Sound. The win against PLU and the close game against La Verne show a lot of promise for the women’s softball team during the 2018 season.