Big things ahead

GVL / Robert Mathews
GVSU vs. Ferris State

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews GVSU vs. Ferris State

Jon Van Zytveld

Shaking off a game one loss is always difficult, but it often marks the difference between splitting a double-header and losing outright.

On Wednesday, the Lakers hosted Hillsdale University for an afternoon double-header that resulted in a 3-0 shutout loss for GVSU as well as a 3-2 victory.

“We knew we would be playing some close and tough games against Hillsdale,” said GVSU coach Doug Woods. “During game one, we got some hits, but we didn’t put them together. I don’t think our team lost any confidence during that first game, but we had to scrap for that second win, which was a great one to get.”

During game one, the Lakers were kept at bay by Hillsdale’s Laura Homan, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference softball “Pitcher of the Week.” While Hillsdale earned a single run in the first and two more in the third, the Lakers found themselves unable to follow through on hits, which earned the team a 3-0 loss.

“Their pitcher is tough, but I feel like we did fine,” said Laker pitcher Hannah Santora, who shared the circle with Andrea Nicholson during the double-header. “It was a tough game and they’re a good team. We had to adjust our play between the two games. We also have to work on hitting a bit before our next game.”

The Lakers returned from the break with the resolve that was necessary to accurately combat Hillsdale. Both teams scored a run in the second inning, and while Hillsdale was able to capture one more in the fourth, the Lakers scored two runs in the fifth to gain the lead. The final score was 3-2.

“I think we all gathered our thoughts between the two games,” said junior designated player Katie Martin, who recorded a double during game two. “We got a little practice in and managed to improve a bit. At the end of the game, we told ourselves that it’s a new pitcher, it’s a new game.”

The Lakers will host Saginaw Valley State University for double-headers on Saturday and Sunday. With the ongoing rivalry between the two teams, more is at stake than just the games and the Lakers are putting in extra time on and off the field to practice, analyze, and improve before the upcoming games.

“We’ll look at their stats and analyze what we’re going to need to do to beat them,” Martin said. “We’re out to get them; they beat us like six times last year. We’d like to win all four games, if we can.”

The Lakers are prepared for a tough series of games, but coach Woods remains confident that, with some work in practice, the team should be able to combat the rival school.

“Saginaw was our nemesis last year,” he said. “We’d like to come out and play well against them. They lost their pitcher from last year, but they have a transfer pitcher from Eastern Michigan University who’s done quite well for them this season. We’ll just have to see what the weekend brings.”