Throughout the past week, the softball team has gone 2-2. The stretch started last Friday with a 4-3 win over nonconference opponent Dickinson State. On Saturday, the Raiders split a doubleheader with Concordia by scores of 3-2 and 2-3. A rain show ended what was supposed to be a doubleheader against Morningside with a 6-4 loss. The Raiders now stand at a 17-13 record and 4-3 in conference play.
“We have gotten good at playing with a couple of extra layers on,” senior pitcher Katie Vande Voort said. “Having fun and being into the games also puts the cold in the back of our minds.”
In the first game against Concordia, the Raiders found themselves in a defensive struggle with the Bulldogs with each team failing to score throughout the first three innings. However, Concordia managed to score two earned runs in the fourth and fifth innings to gain a 2-0 edge heading into the final two innings.
“We had some errors early on, but we never gave up,” Vande Voort said. “That’s what I love about this team. We’ve all put in a ton of time with this sport, and at this point of the season, it’s all about trusting in that preparation.”
The Raider rally was sparked in the sixth inning when junior catcher Jillian Kleinhesselink scored off of an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Clare Ipema. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, NW scored on a solo home run by sophomore third baseman Laura Hurley and scored again when junior second baseman Kourtni Robinson scored off of a single by Kleinhesselink to give the Raiders a 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
NW totaled six hits in the contest. Hurley went a perfect 3-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior first baseman Lindsey Remien, Ipema and Kleinhesselink each had a hit.
Senior pitcher Keely Bracelin gave up only two hits and no earned runs in a full seven innings. Bracelin ended the day with three strikeouts and two walks.
The Raiders will travel to Hastings, Neb., on Saturday to face the conference opponent Broncos. The first game of a doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m.