Softball breaks losing streak at home vs. Illinois Wesleyan

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Anjelica Ortiz

Last Tuesday, the women’s softball team broke their 11 game losing streak with a double header against the Illinois Wesleyan Titans. The Vikings won the first game 1-0 but fell short in the second game leaving the Titans with a 7-2 victory. 
The Vikings started out their season strong in February with two consecutive wins, but since then the Vikings have struggled to find their footing in both conference and non-conference match-ups. Last Tuesday marked the first time in eleven games that the Vikings pulled out a win.
“Our season didn’t start exactly how we were hoping in terms of wins, but we have all had really great attitudes. We have all stayed positive and have continued to work at improving every practice and every game through the ups and downs,” said senior Tristan Bautista.
The first game started with high intensity on both teams. For three innings straight no runners made it past second base and both teams shined defensively. Freshman pitcher Nadia Ranieri kept the Vikings in the game as she continued to send Wesleyan hitters back to their bench. The Vikings kept the energy vibrant on the field as they cheered and sang songs as their teammates stood up to bat and defended against the Titans. 
In the fourth inning the Vikings dominated as Ranieri’s hit to shortstop brought junior Sydney Ohrtmann to home, yielding the only score of the game, which ultimately gave the Vikings their win. 
“The first game was the best game we have played in a while and that helped carry us into the beginning of the second game … our pitchers pitched great and our defense was also outstanding.” said senior Molly Wrenn. 
The outcome of the first game was the highlight of the double header for the Vikings and it gave them a reason to celebrate.
“We found a way to score a run, and our pitching/defense did a great job of keeping balls in the infield and making every play. I knew while I was on the field that I was not letting any balls get past me, and I could tell that every other person on the field felt the same way. I think if we play with that intensity every game we will have a great last half of our season,” said Bautista.
The second game wasn’t as exciting for the Vikings as the first, but it brought in an opportunity to learn and grow. The Titans came back with a vengeance and took out the Vikings in a 7-2 score with the majority of their runs yielding from the beginning half of the game. 
“While we lost the second game, we played our game both games and improved in aspects where we were lacking especially offensively. I think that everyone came together and played for each other and made those key plays or got those key hits,” Wrenn said.
Later in the week the Vikings played another double header against Carthage where they lost both games. But the attitude of the team isn’t defeated. They still have games left and are looking to make it memorable.
“I am very optimistic and excited for the rest of our season. I have seen how hard everyone has been working at practice, and I am confident that everything is going to fall into place as we go onto the last half of our season. As a senior I couldn’t have asked for a better team to end this journey with, and no matter what happens I’m so happy I got to be a part of this program for four years,” Bautista said.
The next home game for the Augustana Softball team is Sunday, April 18th in a double header against North Park.