By Nico Manganiello – 1851 Contributor
Photos by Mike Maruk
The softball team fell twice to Simmons at Taylor Field on Saturday, dropping their conference record to 5-7. The Lasers lost game one by a score of 4-1 and game two 10-1. It was a quiet day for the Lasers offense against a top pitcher.
Senior Maddie Castigleigo dominated both games on the mound for the Simmons Sharks. The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) leader in wins and strikeouts added to her tally on the day. She recorded wins in both games for a total of 18 on the season.
Catigleigo recorded seven strikeouts in each game bringing her season total to 139. Lasers head coach Sarah Woodside credited the opposing pitcher for her great play. “She has a great curveball. And those curveballs break right over the plate and you can’t really tell if they’re going to be a strike or not when they’re breaking and I think she really tripped us up on that,” Woodside said.
Game one was a true pitcher’s duel as freshman Megan Theall produced a strong performance on the mound, letting up four earned runs over seven innings. It was the long ball that defeated the Lasers in both games. In the second inning of game one Sharks junior, Kylie Collins, hit a two out home run to give Simmons a 1-0. However, freshman Mackenzie Still would strike back for Lasell in the bottom of second to tie the game.
It was not until the sixth inning that things went downhill for the Lasers. Senior Christie Bott started the inning with a home run for the Sharks, who would go on to chip in an additional two runs.
In game two it was a similar story for the Lasers. Sophomore third baseman Katie Hopkins started game two on the mound to give Theall’s arm a rest, as she is expected to be on the mound for both games against Dean College tomorrow.
“Yeah, so Katie, actually, she does know how to pitch so she came into this primarily as a third baseman who knows how to pitch and we’ve been using her a little bit over the season to give our pitchers a break so they’re not having to pitch back to back games,” Woodside said.
Hopkins gave up three runs through three innings including home runs to Castigleigo in the second and Bott in the third. Theall returned to the mound in the fourth and pitched back to back scoreless innings to keep the game within reach for the Lasers.
Things fell apart for the Lasers in the sixth inning as a second home run from Catileigo led to a seven run inning for the Sharks. The Sharks are a top offense in the GNAC as they are third in both runs scored and team batting average, the Lasers were only able to hold them down for so long.
“They had seen her picture already. So they got their timing down and they were able to find gap shots. And this is a team that’s going to find gaps shots instead of hitting directly to our players,” Woodside said. “They are very skilled at that and I think in both games they found the gap shots and then our defense in the second game, communication was not great. So we were letting some balls drop that should not have been.”
The Lasers will be back in action tomorrow at Taylor Field for senior day against Dean College. Lasell will be looking for a sweep over the GNAC’s worst team to improve their conference record to .500.