Softball splits series against Miami

The Falcons softball team split the two game series at home on Tuesday afternoon against Miami (OH) RedHawks. The RedHawks took game one by a score of 3-2, but the Falcons took game two by a score of 2-0. Sophomore pitchers Brooke Parker and Meredith Miller each performed well in their respective starts since both allowed only four hits.

“The pitchers have done a great job in making adjustments, as opposed to feeling like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and they have to do it themselves,” Falcon head coach Sarah Willis said. “I think it speaks to our culture, where the girls are trusting the process and trusting each other. It’s great to see them playing together as a team and really clicking together on the field.”

In game one, the Falcons struck first in the bottom of the third as junior infielder Chelsea Raker hit an RBI sacrifice fly toward right field putting the team up 1-0. In the top of the sixth, Miami loaded the bases, which put more pressure on pitcher Meredith Miller to respond.

Miami successfully got an RBI single and sacrificed fly to drive in two runs for the RedHawks. However, the Falcons responded in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore outfielder Hannah Giammarino would hit a perfectly placed bunt in front of the catcher.

A throwing error from the catcher drove in an unearned run for the Falcons, as the game was tied 2-2 going into the final inning. In the top of seventh, Miami was able to get a runner on second with two outs. A fielding error from junior shortstop Aspen Searle gave the RedHawks the unearned run; putting them up 3-2, and they eventually got the victory over the Falcons in game one.

In game two, Brooke Parker recorded her first career shutout and finally put on a great performance after struggling in the past few games. She pitched 62 strikes out of her 87 total pitches.

“After the first game, I talked to Meredith about their hitters, and she really helped me out,” Parker said. “She told me what she threw that worked for her. I knew when I came in, my fielders would have my back and would make good plays if I would let them. I’m not looking for strikeouts. I’m looking to throw the least amount of pitches that I can, and it’s a big boost to my confidence when the fielders are making plays like they did today.”

In the bottom of the third, Chelsea Raker hit an RBI single towards right field to put the team up 1-0. Then in the bottom of the fourth, senior third baseman Haley Schrock hit a sacrifice fly towards deep left field to give the team another run on the scoreboard leading 2-0. The RedHawks never got to advance to third base the entire game and were unsuccessful when put into scoring position on second base. The Falcons ended the day on a good note winning 2-0.

“Brooke (Parker) did a great job keeping them off balance today,” Willis said. “You look at the stats: 26 batters faced; no walks and no strikeouts. That tells you how the defense played behind her. They came up with some great grabs, and she kept them off balance and made it relatively easy for them.”

The Falcons will begin a three game series at home this weekend against the Eastern Michigan Eagles with the first game on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. Then there will be a doubleheader on Saturday with the first game beginning at 3 p.m. and the second game expected to begin at 5 p.m.