Cleveland State softball gets their season underway

With a couple of tournaments under their belt, Vikings softball gets off to an average start

While it’s only the start of March, February marked the start of softball. Cleveland State University competed in the UIW tournament to start off the season. This tournament comprised of five games, the Vikings taking four out of the five. Game one against Incarnate Word was a late-inning thriller as the Vikings, who were down 3-0 in the top of the 7th, mounted a comeback.

With two on and two out in a 3-1 game freshman Brooke Albaugh tied the game with a two-run double. Albaugh later scored on an error giving the Vikings a 4-3 lead, sophomore Jenna Watts shut the door and held on to get the win in the bottom of the 7th. The next day, the Vikings had a doubleheader. The first game against Prairie View was a hit parade.

Senior Aly Packish swings at an incoming pitch. Photo courtesy of Vikings Athletics

The Vikings had 13 runs on 14 hits, senior Courtney Fernette led the team with three hits and three RBI’s in a 13-5 win. The Vikings would suffer a loss against Green Bay, in a 7-4 defeat after four innings the team was down 6-1. Unlike the first game of the season, no comeback was in order. Both teams had 11 hits, but the Vikings had three errors. So the day ended in a split of the doubleheader.

The team was not happy with a loss and responded with a sweep of their next doubleheader on Feb. 12. Game one of the day against Prairie View was another hit parade but the star was freshman pitcher Melissa Holzopfel had 12 strikeouts in five innings of work in a 9-1 win. Finally, to end off the day, the Vikings faced off against Incarnate Word. After four innings, CSU led 6-2 and held off an Incarnate comeback in a 6-5 victory and an overall 4-1 record to end the weekend.

Vikings outfielders run for a fly ball. Photo courtesy of Vikings Athletics

The following weekend was a rough slide for the Vikings, as they lost four straight games during the Panther Invitational. This included an extra-inning loss to Florida International, 6-5, with sophomore Torrie Jenkins taking the loss.

Cleveland State ended the invitational with a 5-4 loss to Buffalo, putting their record at 4-5 on the season. The Vikings have two more tournaments coming up, the Wings ETC Classic and the Campbell Invitational, before Horizon League play starts up in mid-March.