Softball dominates Ichabods
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The Emporia State softball team swept Washburn this weekend, playing one double header in Emporia on Friday and another in Topeka on Saturday.
The Lady Hornets got off to a strong start, winning the first game on Friday, 9-3. ESU started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning with a home run from Kaitlyn Caston, junior pitcher. The Ichabods took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third, but the Lady Hornets shut them down for the rest of the game and ended on a three-run homer by Jessica Gragg, junior catcher.
ESU kept their momentum in the nightcap with the help of a two-hit shutout from Eryn Stockman, freshman pitcher. Taylor Zordel, junior infielder, scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Stephanie Goodwin, junior outfielder. Gragg ended the scoring with her second homer of the night, allowing the Lady Hornets to take a 4-0 victory.
“The team as a whole came into the weekend very relaxed and focused,” Gragg, a physical education major, said. “We were all pretty excited and ready to play. I think the energy of the team helped to keep me relaxed at the plate.”
ESU took an early lead in the first game on Saturday, going up 3-0 after a home run from Brenda Novelo, junior infielder. Gragg hit her third homer of the series in the fourth. Zordel hit a single to put the Lady Hornets up 5-0. The Ichabods were able to score in the sixth, but ESU got the win with the final score 5-1.
The Lady Hornets got the first lead in the nightcap as well, going up two runs in the third inning. Washburn cut the lead to one after a home run in the bottom of the third. ESU strengthened their lead in the top of the fifth, thanks to a two- run homer by Goodwin. The Ichabods scored one more in the top of the seventh, but the Lady Hornets took a 4-2 victory for the sweep.
Washburn led the nation in home runs before the series this weekend. Caston and Stockman were able to shut them down at the plate, allowing only one home run in all four games.
“There was a little bit of pressure on both of us as pitchers,” Caston, a business management major, said. “Coach worked a lot with us on keeping the ball low and making sure we knew where we wanted to place the ball, and I think she did a great job helping us with that.”
Julie LeMaire, head coach, said she was happy with how her team performed this weekend.
“Being able to give Eryn and Kaitlyn the ability to get comfortable on the mound was something that we knew would happen,” LeMaire said. “I think all the aspects of our team have finally started to come together.”
The Lady Hornets will play a double header against Pittsburg State in Pittsburg this Friday, as well as a double header against Missouri Sothern in Joplin, Mo. on Saturday.