Western softball is off to a 15-4 start after splitting a double-header with Quincy University in its home-opener at the MWSU Spring Sports Complex.
Jackie Bishop came into the first game with a record of 8-0 and held the Hawks scoreless in the first three innings including striking out the first four batters.
Quincy’s Ashleigh Roscetti singled two runners home, and an Emma Topps single batted in another in the fourth inning. Those three runs were all Quincy needed as the Griffons failed to get on the scoreboard.
“Francis pitched really well and the thing that we didn’t do to match that today was make the small adjustments early enough in the ballgame to make a difference,” Coach Jen Bagley said. “That ugly momentum thing played more in that dugout than ours because we just didn’t give ourselves a chance.”
Francis only gave up three hits and struck out nine batters while shutting the Griffons out in the 3-0 Quincy victory. Bishop struck out 10 batters and only gave up four hits, but it wasn’t enough to prevent her from taking her first loss of the season.
“This team is going to be a lot more of a team that hits for average and not home-runs,” Bagley said. “I don’t consider that a problem, but we have to get a couple hits in a row and live on that momentum bug. Today we didn’t have it.”
Annalee Rubio pitched a stong game too. Rubio improved her record to 5-3 on the season after only giving up three hits, striking out five batters and giving up only one earned run.
“If those two pitchers show up and throw the way they did today and we show up on the other side of the ball, then you can’t ask for more,” Bagley said.
With the game on the line and Kendall Sorensen on third, Quincy elected to intentionally walk Keri Lorbert to face Maegan Roemmich, who made them pay for the decision.
“I got excited when I saw that I was going to get the chance to bat,” Roemmich said. “I have a lot of confidence in Keri, but I was ready for my turn.”
Roemmich hit a double to right center that scored Sorensen and broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Hawks couldn’t answer in the seventh inning and the Griffons pulled out the 2-1 victory.
Quincy is off to a 5-10 start to its season, but has been consistently been good over the years.
“Quincy is a very good team. I scheduled them because they are a good opponent and we need to play good teams,” Bagley said. “I told the team that you got to respect the game and you can’t take anybody lightly. Until you get your 21 outs, anyone beats you if you look to the big picture and don’t pay attention to the small stuff.”
The Griffon bats only totaled six hits off of Francis, who pitched all of both games.
“We just need to hit the ball better ,” Roemmich said. “We went out there thinking too much and guessing at the pitcher instead of being aggressive and swinging the bat.”
Western starts its MIAA conference season against Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Mo., on March 9.