When the Bulldogs of Jarvis Christian College kicked off game one of their doubleheader against the University of Dallas with a 6-run inning, it did not look like it was going to be the Crusaders’ day. Already 0-4 for the season, UD softball was well on their way to 0-5 before they even stepped up to the plate.
“I think they were still struggling to put the pieces together and fully trust each other on the field in the first game,” head coach Elizabeth Krysiak said of her team’s first performance in game one.
The Bulldogs were up 0-2, at bat with the bases loaded and two outs when outfielder Paris Harper drove one home, scoring herself and her three teammates.
The Crusaders tried to answer in the bottom of the inning with two outs when freshman Melanie Savala made a bid for home off a hit from freshman Allie Driskill, but she didn’t make it and they ended the inning scoreless.
UD didn’t make it onto the board until the third inning, when junior Allison Kotlar went home off a bunt and a throwing error from the defense.
Another home run from freshman Mackenzie Tano in the fourth would make the score 3-7 as she hit one out of the park and scored both herself and classmate Shannon Sheeley, running for senior Alex Compte, who had been walked to first two batters earlier.
The Crusaders would not score again until the bottom of the sixth, when Kotlar notched her second RBI of the day, sending home freshman Katelyn Lazarek. By this time, however, the Bulldogs had increased to 10 runs, and the game ended after the following inning, UD dropping the contest 4-10.
Only about twenty minutes later, however, the Crusaders took the field for game two looking like a new team. Krysiak said that her team really proved and lived up to all the hard work they had been putting into preparing for the weekend.
“The team put in a lot of work this past week and really stepped up their effort at practice,” Krysiak said. “They were going into this weekend’s games knowing they had increased their commitment to the process this season. They continued to get better throughout the games with some bright moments throughout. [In] the second game, they raised their own standards and pushed themselves to step up in the ways we have been asking them to.”
Freshman Lauren Galvan took the mound as the starting pitcher for game two in her first collegiate start and her second appearance. She and the defense would combine to keep the Bulldogs from scoring until the top of the fourth inning, allowing the offense to snatch a 3-0 lead by the end of the second.
Freshman Jade Miller started the scoring with her second home run of the season. Knocking the ball high and deep into center field, Miller extended her hitting streak to span all six games of the season so far.
In the bottom of the second, Kotlar notched two more RBI’s, singling and sending both Tano and Lazarek home with their second runs of the doubleheader.
The Bulldogs prevented a shutout with a delayed double steal home to make it 3-2, but Galvan retained her composure and Jarvis Christian would not be able to break even for the rest of the match. The Crusaders cruised defensively to the end, with Galvan retiring the last eight batters she faced, and UD finally had their first victory of 2017.
“Lauren Galvan threw a great game from the circle and the defense played very well behind her,” Krysiak said. “I am proud of the step forward we took this past weekend and I am looking to have us keep building on that.”
“Going into the second game Coach K asked me to step up and pitch well for our team so that’s what was in my mind [while playing],” Galvan said. “I knew that our team deserved a win because we’ve been working so hard in and out of practice and I knew that I was going to do everything in my power to help us get that win. My team played amazing defensively behind me and I couldn’t have done it without them. It was an amazing feeling that I’ll never forget to get my first win as a freshman but it felt even better to help my team get our first win.”