This past weekend the Loras College softball team had their home opener, which doubled as their senior day. They took on UW-Oshkosh, who advanced to the Regional Tournament last year. The Titans arrived in Dubuque with a record of 4-1, and were excited to play their first games on dirt. The Duhawks matched that intensity and excitement level. Both teams showed up to the field ready to take two wins, which made for a great match up.
“As a senior, the moment I stepped onto Faber Clarke I instantly knew not only was choosing Loras one of the best decisions of my life, but I knew my fellow teammates were prepared to commit to dominating the day for us five seniors. I felt as if the team was ready to battle while at the same time being our goofy, crazy selves as a celebration of the memories we have had together thus far and will continue to have. Through decorations, the smiles, the laughter, I knew it was going to be a great day of Duhawk softball,” says senior pitcher Bayley Monroe.
A great day of Duhawk softball it was, with Faber Clarke packed with purple. The first game was a nail bitter for the entirety of the seven innings. Both teams showcased their tough defense, and their abilities to string together hits on the offensive side. The Duhawks took the first game win with a home run from senior Ashley Lentine in the bottom of the sixth. On the defensive end, junior pitcher Kyleigh Becker was able to hold the Titans to only 3 hits with the help of the fielders behind her. This gave the Duhawks a 2-1 victory over the Titans. The second game the Titans jumped on the Duhawks early, scoring one run in top of the first. They were not able to silence the Titan offense as they did in the first game, allowing 14 hits. The Duhawks never gave up though and responded throughout the game. Lentine and senior Shannon Coyle also showed up to the plate for the Duhawk offense both going 2 for 3 on the game. In the end, the Duhawks could not score enough and fell to the Titans, 10-7.
This weekend they start their conference season in Lincoln, Nebraska, hoping to walk away with two wins.
Sophomore outfielder Jade Besler says, “We’re all really excited and have been working hard to be able to compete in one of the hardest conferences in D3. We have that championship mindset, and are eager to reach our full potential within conference while playing some of the best teams.”
The American Rivers Conference is one of the toughest conferences in Division 3 softball, but the Loras College Softball Team welcomes the competition with open arms. The team is challenged throughout conference play and they definitely showcase what they have been working hard for all year. The end goal of the season is to win the first ARC softball championship and all their hard work will start to pay off on Saturday.