This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Marty Fenn.
The softball team suffered a double dose of losses in its Atlantic 10 opener against La Salle on Sunday, after entering conference play with eight wins in a row.
Freshman Sarah Costlow started both games in the circle for the Colonials (13-10, 0-2 A-10), who lost the first game 10-1 in five innings and dropped the nightcap 3-1 despite a complete game from Costlow.
“[In the first game], [Costlow] was falling behind a lot of hitters, whether it was 2-0 or 3-1, and then she would give up a hit,” GW head coach Stacey Schramm said. “She’s a freshman, and it was conference play, so I don’t know if she just had some butterflies and needed to get it out of her system.”
The Explorers (3-6, 2-0 A-10) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, with Costlow surrendering a hit batter and two walks to go along with a pair of singles.
La Salle began to pour it on in the third, knocking Costlow out of the game after a two-RBI, bases-loaded double that followed a walk and a pair of singles. Sophomore Paige Kovalsky relieved the freshman and surrendered a bases-clearing double that extended the Explorers’ lead to 8-0.
The Colonials would get on the board after a double from junior Morgan Matetic that would eventually lead to junior Carlee Gray’s run-scoring double play. It would not prove enough, however, as the Explorers tacked on two more runs in the fifth because of three walks and a hit batter.
“We need to limit free bases, and that’s always been an issue for us,” Schramm said. “Ten of their runs in the first game were people who got on base by either getting hit or walked, and you can’t win games like that.”
In addition to breaking an eight-game winning streak for the Colonials, the loss also ended Costlow’s seven-game winning streak.
The Explorers jumped on Costlow early in game after a lead-off home run from Michelle Hagarty in the first. Then there were two more runs in the third inning on a walk and two hits.
The Colonials got on the board in the fifth after an RBI single by senior Victoria Valos and threatened in the sixth after Gray’s triple. However, she was stranded, and the Colonials fell 3-1.
Regardless of the strong stretch prior to this weekend, Schramm said the Colonials have struggled at the plate in recent games.
“We haven’t been our best lately… We haven’t really been stringing our hits together,” Schramm said.
Costlow’s complete game was marked by three runs on six hits and five strikeouts. Valos has now reached base for 13 consecutive games, marking a tie for the program record held by Elana Meyers Taylor.
With two non-conference games slated for this week before A-10 play resumes against St. Bonaventure on Saturday, Schramm also preached the need to do the little things offensively to ensure success moving forward.
“[We need to] work on executing, looking for pitches where we can move a base runner instead of getting our own hit,” she said. “It’s easier said than done, but we’re going to work on that situational hitting.”
The Colonials will host Dartmouth (5-11) on Tuesday at 3 p.m.