Softball: Bears stun No. 8 Augustana and thrash Fontbonne

| Senior Sports Editor

An 8-0 drubbing at the beginning of a tournament might spoil the weekend for many softball teams. But the No. 15 Washington University Bears did not let their Friday loss to No. 8 Augustana College get them down.

Wash. U. recorded only one hit and three errors in the defeat, but Saturday was a different story for the Bears, as they toppled Augustana 10-8 in nine innings and thrashed Fontbonne University 14-2 in five innings.

Saturday’s rematch with Augustana saw the Red and Green hang tough and recover from a large deficit. “You think you have a game in hand…You never know what can happen,” senior co-captain Caitlyn Hoffman said.

The Vikings had a three-run advantage and one out left to end the game. The Bears had junior Claire Voris and sophomore Corissa Santos on base when senior Ally Berenter strolled to the plate. “I wasn’t really concerned with ‘down by three with one out,’” Berenter said. “I was just, ‘See the ball, hit the ball.’”

Berenter delivered a two-run RBI double to bring the score to 6-5. When freshman Kathy Peter scored on a single from senior co-captain Carter Malouf, the game went to extra innings. Malouf stepped to the plate with one thought in mind: “Put it through a hole.”

Although the Vikings jumped out to a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth inning, the Red and Green responded to tie the score after a sacrifice fly from senior Ashton Hitchcock. “When things are bleak, it’s really easy to quit there,” Malouf said. “We did it once, we can do it again. It really showed our determination.”

With an 0-2 record against Augustana on the line, Hoffman stepped up to the plate. Malouf had just been intentionally walked. “I could tell she was going to get a hit if she went up there with great confidence,” Hitchcock said.

Hoffman confessed she was nervous with the score tied 8-8. She was unable to deliver a game-winner in the seventh, and the Bears already had two outs against them. “It was an outside pitch, fast ball,” Hoffman said. “It hit off the top of the scoreboard. They saw the little dent. It was one of the best games we played just in terms of our fight.” The two RBI walk-off home run sent the dugout to their feet. Pitcher Voris pitched the full game, striking out 11 and allowing eight runs.

The Red and Green carried the momentum forward into their five-inning, 14-2 rout of Fontbonne. “It speaks volumes of the team to make adjustments hitting-wise,” Berenter said. “To come back and play them and get 14 runs, it was great.”

The Bears also recorded a 1-0 win against Fontbonne on Friday afternoon. In the first victory, Voris had a complete-game two-hitter. She struck out nine batters and walked only one en route to her fifth victory on the season.

Leading off in the bottom of the sixth inning, Hitchcock doubled and scored the game’s only run on a double from Berenter.

The Bears face Millikin University in a doubleheader on Wednesday before returning home for a doubleheader against Illinois Wesleyan University at 1 p.m. on Saturday and another against Fontbonne University at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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