Cloudy skies hung over the University of Dallas softball field as the team opened their regular season against Hendrix College on Sunday.
The atmosphere inside the blue fence was charged with excitement; with 170 fans in attendance over the course of the afternoon and the musical chants from the home team ringing across campus, the Crusaders fought to a 1-1 outcome in the day’s doubleheader.
In both games, the Crusaders struck first and early. Junior captain and outfielder Lyda Tesauro walked to first base, stole second and was batted home by freshman catcher Stephanie Cervantes at the bottom of the first inning of game one. Also, in the bottom of the first in game two, Tesauro added to her day’s success by hitting her first triple of the season, sending fellow junior outfielder Avery Finch home before scoring herself shortly after.
Despite her personal accomplishments, Tesauro emphasized the importance of the whole team.
“The beauty of softball is that no player really stands out,” Tesauro said. “It was a team effort and a team win. So many of my teammates played their hearts out and really contributed to the win.”
Tesauro’s score in game one was to be the Crusaders’ only one in the contest, which they dropped 1-2.
Game two, however, was a different story. Finch and Tesauro’s two runs were only the first of six, topping Hendrix’s three.
“In our first game we had some missed opportunities,” Tesauro said. “But once we got our jitters out of the way, we really started executing.”
Rounding out UD’s final scoreline were freshman catcher and first baseman Katie Antigua, senior shortstop Erin Begle, freshman utility Keali Weatherford and junior outfielder Allison Kotlar.
Making her college debut with a complete game and a win was freshman pitcher Paige Parks.
“The freshman class adds a lot to our program,” Kotlar said. “I’m excited to see what this season will bring out in them.”
Despite the weekend’s draw, the team remains just as confident — if not more — in their abilities to make this season great.
“Our season opener was meant to show us where we are and what we need to improve on,” Tesauro said. “We just proved we have a lot of potential. If we can fine tune our fundamentals and continue to play Dallas softball, we can really make a wave in our conference this year.”
The Crusaders will be on the road this weekend for a pair of doubleheaders against Millsaps College and Huntingdon College.