By Ashley Pickert
The Crusaders were in Longview, Texas last Saturday, Feb. 7, to kick off their season against LeTourneau University. They started out the spring season with a bang, winning 7-0, but unfortunately, they could not carry the same energy into the second game and suffered a 5-3 loss.
Sophomore Katie Lee returned to the mound for her second season and only allowed four hits for the entirety of the team’s first game. The infield and outfield played tight defense to back her up, including an incredible diving catch by sophomore center fielder Avery Finch. Not only did the Crusaders play well defensively but they also proved their worth offensively. Senior Ashley Pickert and junior Erin Begle both hit three for four, including a double, and had two RBIs apiece. Finch and fellow sophomore Allison Kotlar each had two singles, and sophomore Lyda Tesauro had a single and a double. All three had an RBI each. Singles were also hit by senior Taylor Garcia and sophomore Alex Compte for the win.
In the second game, freshman Elizabeth Symanski started on the mound. Despite her best efforts, she allowed one earned run, and Lee came in as relief, allowing only one earned run herself. Freshman Madison Goforth hit two for three, and Begle and freshman Eliah Davila each had a single. Tesauro and sophomore Ciara Stewart had a double each, with one RBI for Tesauro and two for Stewart. However, it was not enough to pull off the win.
On Sunday, the Crusaders played University of Texas at Dallas at home. Lee started on the mound. Goforth had an excellent game, not only hitting three for four but also making a double play at third base. Begle had a single, a triple and an RBI; Tesauro had a double and an RBI; and Garcia had a single and two RBIs. Despite a rally by Pickert, Finch and Kotlar, who each had a single, the Crusaders fell to the Comets. They lost the game 8-4.
In the second game, Symanski pitched and kept the earned runs to four. Begle had two singles and an RBI, Finch also had two singles, and Garcia and Kotlar had a single each. However, UTD again managed to pull off a win with a final score of 9-1.
“While the 1-3 start to the season wasn’t what we are looking for, there are a lot of positives to take away from the weekend,” Head Coach Beth Krysiak said. “We had a lot of players step up and do well in the games. Our leaders showed the ability to be calming forces on the field. Overall, it was a good foundation to build on for a great season ahead.”