Softball starts strong, ends sourly

The Northern Kentucky University Women’s Softball team (1-3, 0-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference) got off on the wrong foot for the 2008 season after a tough three days at the UAH Charger Chillout.

The first two games of the season were scheduled for Feb. 22 and both were rained out. Unfortunately for the women, the sun did not shine on the team the rest of the weekend either.

The women were dominant in their first game against Southern Arkansas. Junior Jenny Weis stole the show by starting the game off with a one out infield single and scored on the following play. For an encore Weis hit a straightaway homerun to finish off the Muleriders in the fifth inning and gave the Norse the 11-3 winning score. The Norse scored four runs in the first and second innings to make it easy for junior Amanda Smith who pitched four innings, giving up three earned-runs and striking out one, to get the Norse’s season off to a 1-0 start.

The women were up against the No. 20 ranked Wayne State University Warriors. The Norse got the scoring started in the bottom of the third inning as catalyst Jenny Weis as she started the inning off with yet another infield single, and subsequently, stole second base. After a strikeout by junior pitcher Katybeth Coode, Weis the stole third base, and eventually scored on a single by Amanda Smith to give the Norse a 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately for the Norse, that was the end of their offensive output. The Warriors tied the game in the top of the fifth on a run-scoring single by first-team Great Lakes Region senior catcher Sarah Berry, and the Warriors took a lead they would not relinquish in the top of the seventh on a single up the middle by senior first-baseman Lindsey Perry.

The Norse went quietly in the bottom of the seventh and settled for a Saturday split despite a strong start from freshmen April Ehlers, who was making her first collegiate start.

The Norse did not fare any better Feb. 24, when they were beaten in both of their games. The first was an 11-1 drubbing at the hands of Alabama-Huntsville. Starting pitcher freshmen Chelsie Roy was only able to last one inning before she was ousted. The Norse was down five runs by the bottom of the second, and never got closer to the win.

The second game was a lot closer, but had the same outcome. The Norse lost a 3-0 pitchers duel to the University of West Florida Argonauts, in which April Ehlers gave the team another strong start outing, but did not receive any run support. The team had four hits and three errors, and gave up runs to the Argos in the first, third and sixth innings.

The women do not play again until the March 8 game, against Le Moyne University in Kissimmee, Fla., and do not start GLVC play until they travel to Kenosha, Wash. March 21, to play Wisconsin-Parkside.