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Softball drops the ball in three of four league games

Over spring break, the softball team (12-9, 1-3 Ivy) started off strong, defeating Bryant (3-23). However, the team went on to lose its first two Ivy League games to Penn (9-12, 4-0) and only managed to win one of two games against Columbia (6-17, 1-3).

Brown 5, Bryant 4
Though the Bears won, Bryant dominated most of the game on March 25. At the end of the fourth inning, the Bulldogs led the Bears, 3-0, after the Bears had the bases loaded but failed to score any runs in the top of the fourth.

"They just had a lot of hits," said first baseman Kate Strobel '12. "It was a matter of them hitting and us not hitting."

But in the top of the fifth inning, the Bears came alive. After second baseman Erika Mueller '13 (also a Herald sports staff writer) and shortstop Katie Rothamel '10 walked, third baseman Stephanie Thompson '13 doubled to bring home Mueller. With two runners in scoring position, Strobel stepped up to the plate and hit a three-run home run.

"I just knew that there were runners on second and third, so I wanted a single to the right," Strobel said. "I had two strikes on me quickly, but I just ended up with the perfect pitch, and it went."

The Bears scored their game-clinching run in the sixth inning. Pitcher Kristie Chin '11, after relieving Liz DiMascio '13 in the bottom of the fourth, only allowed the Bulldogs to score one more run, sealing Brown's 5-4 win.

"It wasn't the prettiest win, but we still came out with the win," Strobel said. "We proved that we have fire."

Penn 6, Brown 2
But the Quakers extinguished the Bears' fire in their first series of Ivy League games on Friday.

"Teams tend to pick it up with Ivy starts, when we play people in our own conference," said Head Coach DeeDee Enabenter-Omidiji. "We expected as a team to be competitive. Unfortunately, that didn't happen in our first series."

Penn scored two runs off a home run in the first inning. Though the Quakers did not score again until the bottom of the seventh, the Bears spent the entire game playing catch-up. In the fourth inning, Strobel hit a home run and in the top of the seventh, Rothamel hit a double that brought home Mueller, tying the game, 2-2.

But in the bottom of the seventh, Penn's Brooke Coloma hit a grand slam, dashing the Bears' hopes of going into extra innings.

"We started figuring things out, but it was later in the game," Enabenter-Omidiji said. "We didn't start making adjustments until it was too late."

Penn 5, Brown 0
The adjustments the Bears started making in the first game did not carry over into the second game against the Quakers. Though Penn scored all five of its runs by the end of the third inning, Brown only managed to get one hit against Penn the entire game.

According to Enabenter-Omidiji, because the team was crushed after losing to Penn in the first game off a grand slam, the Bears were unable to bounce back in time for the second game.

"Some have the ability to put it in the past, but we didn't," Enabenter-Omidiji said. "It carried into our play in the second game. You could see the devastation in the players' faces." 

Brown 3, Columbia 0
The next day against Columbia, Brown seemed to shake off the losses to Penn. Though the Bears got off to a slow start offensively, Chin on the mound kept the team in the game by shutting down Columbia's offense.

"Kristie Chin did a great job keeping them off balance," Enabenter-Omidiji said. "Whenever you can shut a team down like she can, you have talent."

Thompson kick-started the offense in the fourth inning with a double to left field, followed by a single from Strobel. Both Thompson and Strobel were brought home by a single to right field from catcher Amanda Asay '10.

The Bears scored another run in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a throwing error by the Lions to seal the victory.

Columbia 10, Brown 5
But Columbia did not let their loss to Brown in game one get them down. The Lions came back and completely dominated the Bears in the second game.

At the end of the third inning, Columbia led the Bears 3-0. The Bears' offense came alive, however, and scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning. But the Lions would not let themselves be outdone and scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, making the score 8-4.

"They got a lot of cheap hits," Enabenter-Omidiji said. "They hit it just soft enough to allow them to get on base. It was one of those ‘Twilight Zone'-type games."

The Bears scored their final run in the sixth inning, but Columbia answered with two runs of its own, making the final score 10-5.

"Offensively, you would think scoring five runs would be enough" to win, Enabenter-Omidiji said. "But not when you're giving up 10."


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