Offense slows as Lakers split doubleheader

GVL Archive
Senior Pitcher Andrea Nicholson

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Senior Pitcher Andrea Nicholson

Stephanie Deible

Offense was hard to come by for the Grand Valley State University softball team in their home opener, but small ball helped propel the Lakers to a doubleheader split with St. Joseph’s College.

Although it is early in the season, a split with the Pumas (12-4) may be critical in the Midwest Regional rankings later on down the road.

“Coming into the game we knew that this was an in region team,” senior catcher Carli Raisutis said. “So we wanted to win both. Getting a split was good, but we wanted to win both.”

GVSU (12-2) was out-hit by its opponent 11-16 and had to work to earn a split.

In game one, Saint Joseph’s pushed a run across in the fifth inning to take a 1-0 lead on GVSU. The Lakers, who had only managed one hit through the first four innings, turned to small ball to regain the lead.

“Sometimes you have to figure out what’s going to work,” GVSU head coach Doug Woods said. “We hadn’t been hitting, so you got to try and come up with something.”

A pair of Puma errors, one of which followed a bunt single by junior outfielder Emily Jones, brought up GVSU’s two hottest hitters as of late in junior Nellie Kosola and sophomore Briauna Taylor.

“We thought let’s just try and get someone on base and bunt her over,” Woods said. “And then they threw the ball away and that helped. Then your bigger hitters come up and hit after that.”

Kosola and Taylor, who are leading the team with .532 and .465 batting averages respectively, came through with back-to-back singles to give GVSU a lead it would not relinquish. The Lakers held on for a 3-2 victory.

Senior Andrea Nicholson went the distance in the circle, allowing six hits throughout the contest.

In game two, GVSU appeared as though they would score runs early in the game. With one out, and runners on first and third the Lakers were in a prime position to score. However, a line-drive-double-play halted their scoring threat.

Woods said the double play swung the momentum in the favor of Saint Josephs.

“You are a great scoring opportunity and then you lose track how many outs there are as a base runner and it takes you right out of the inning,” Woods said. “You’ve got to be able to bounce back from that.”

The Pumas took advantage of GVSU’s missed opportunities and scored five unanswered runs of their own, handing GVSU a 5-0 defeat.

Kosola led the team in the nightcap with two hits and a walk.

“As a lead-off hitter, I just do what I can to get on base,” said Kosola, who hit a triple in the sixth inning of game two. “[Assistant coach] Dana [Callihan] is really on me this year, so I just try to do what I can to start the game off well.”

GVSU will be back in action on Saturday at 1 p.m. when they travel to Walsh University.