Depth helps softball come back to win three-game Bates series

Softball’s three game series against Bates on Saturday afternoon started poorly for Colby, resulting  in a 5-2 loss. Luckily, the weekend wasn’t over, and the Mules had time to pick things up with a game on Saturday evening and on Sunday.

In the first game, played at Bates, Colby went down by two in the first inning. With scores from Bobcats Maddie Inlow and Julia Panepinto, Bates took the lead with a double batted into center field by Julia Treadwell. After Colby was unable to respond in the top of the second, Bates scored again in the bottom, giving them a 3-0 lead. They scored twice more, in the fourth and fifth innings, though Colby managed to pull one back in the third. By the final inning, Bates was leading 5-1. In a sneaky conclusion, Emily Dougherty ’19 of Colby stole home, giving the Mules a final point.

Desperate to redeem themselves after the results of the afternoon game, that night Colby came out swinging. Scoring twice in the top of the second, the Mules found themselves in the lead Saturday night. Their momentum didn’t dwindle and after going scoreless in the third and fourth, the team scored three times in the fifth inning. Points were earned by captain Robin Spofford ’17, Ella Hommeyer ’20, and Skylar Labbe ’18. The amount of capable scorers is indicative of the depth of the team, something that has contributed to their strength this season. Scoring once more in the 6th, Colby went into the final inning with a 6-0 lead. In three separate plays, Bates scored thrice in the bottom of the seventh, ending the game with a final score of 6-3. The Mules were happy with the result, which earned them their first NESCAC victory.

The winning didn’t stop, with Colby taking the lead in the bottom of the third after two scoreless innings. On Sunday morning, two new players scored, with Grace Farnkoff ’17 and Carly Swartz ’20 making it home. Both Bates and Colby scored in the fourth, making it 3-1, before Colby finished it off with a final run from Paige Hartnett ’19, her second of the day. Pitching was strong again this week, with Wiley Holton ’19 of Colby retiring the first nine batters for Bates College without a hit. She had two strikeouts in the seventh inning to retain Colby’s lead. Holton also played well in Saturday’s evening game, only allowing seven hits and striking out six Bobcats. Spofford praised her teammate, saying, “Wiley is this week’s NESCAC player of the Week and definitely deserves it with the weekend she had in terms of pitching. However, she also did well hitting and made all her plays defensively.”

The depth of the team’s skill was visible in their comeback and ultimate split against Bates College, a series that pushed them to a 9-16 record overall. Spofford had nothing but positive things to say about the team, noting, “we’re such a close team that truly believes in each other, so we haven’t let any setbacks get in our way. We have continued to work hard, determined to show other teams who Colby softball is.” Colby’s next series will be played at home on Friday and Saturday against Trinity College. With only five games to go in the season, the Mules will look to improve in their NESCAC record before the closing game.