GV Softball dominates their doubleheader to kick off GLIAC schedule


GVL/Katherine Vasile

Shawn Robinson, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University softball team kicked off GLIAC play March 25 against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in a doubleheader. After almost two years, the Lakers were able to take on the Rangers at GVSU. The Lakers came out with dominant performances both offensively and defensively, winning game one 6-1 and game two 8-3.

“It was good, we pushed the games up because of weather, luckily we got it in,” said coach Dana Callihan. “They were amped up and ready to go and it’s nice to be on our home field again.” 

The Lakers quickly showed that enthusiasm in game one. In the first inning, the Lakers allowed Parkside to score first, but were able to take the lead in the next half of the inning. A fielding error by Parkside allowed for sophomore outfielder Joanna Cirrincione to score. Freshman OF Hannah Hollister then hit a single to bring in junior infielder Taylor Rieger. 

The third inning was huge for the Lakers as they scored three runs thanks to sophomore IF Lydia Goble who started things off with an RBI double to right field. The Lakers continued to swing hot bats as junior IF Nikoma Holmen singled brining in a run followed by a junior OF Bailey Thatcher sacrifice fly, allowing the Lakers to take 5-1 lead. The first game saw five different players record RBIs with four players having multiple hits.

The pitching for the Lakers was key to their victory in their first game. Starting pitcher, sophomore Hannah Beatus, pitched five innings posting only one earned run, one hit and three strikeouts. Relief pitcher sophomore Samantha Gehrls came in the sixth inning walking her first three batters. She then bounced back by striking out the next two she faced and forced a fly out to end the inning. 

“I felt good coming into the game,” Beatus said. “After the first inning, I was able to get into a groove and it helped us for the rest of the game. The girls were swinging that bats well, so I had to match that intensity and made sure I pitched well to get the victory.”

The second game started off differently then the first. After the first inning, the game looked like it was going to be a victory for the Lakers due to the mercy rule. Hollister tripled to left and brought in three runs followed by a Thatcher single that brought Hollister home. The Lakers taking an early 4-0 lead, but the Parkside Rangers weren’t going to go down without a fight. 

In the third inning, the Rangers scored two runs to make it a 4-2 game but that didn’t slow down the Lakers offense at all. Holmen hit a home run, her fourth of the season, to center field extending the Lakers lead 5-2. Parkside would then score once again in the fourth inning, slimming the Lakers lead 5-3. 

GVSU would then extend their lead going into the sixth, after Cirrincione brought in a run followed by a Rieger RBI single. Goble singled and recorded another RBI, bringing Cirrincione home. Starting pitcher, freshman Ashley Platek, would then finish the job and record her second complete game of the season. The Lakers won the game 8-3. 

Coming into these games, the Lakers were voted to win the GLIAC in the preseason coaches’ poll. Coach Callihan reiterated that just because they’re the favorites, doesn’t mean that they’re going to win it. 

“We still got some work to do,” Callihan said. “We didn’t have as many non-conference games to prepare ourselves, but we got some good teams coming up this weekend so that’ll be a good test for us but we’re ready to play with anybody. Your picked first and everything, that’s all great but then everyone is gunning for you, so we just have to learn how to handle that part of it. We’ll be ready to go.”

The Lakers started their GLIAC schedule off strong with two solid wins. The team will look to keep that trend going heading into conference play this weekend against Ferris State University.