The University of Toledo’s softball team began the 2018 season in Clermont, Fla., winning three out of five games in the Dot Richardson’s National Collegiate Softball Invitational.
Friday – Game 1
Kailey Minarchick, third-year pitcher, held Fairfield Dickinson scoreless and only allowed one hit for opening day’s doubleheader. Minarchick collected four strikeouts in seven innings under 76 pitches with no walks.
The Rockets scored their lone run of the game in the third inning. Sam Showalter, fourth-year infielder, singled up the middle and stole second with one out. Morgan Paaverud, second-year infielder, took an intentional walk with two outs.
Bekah Yenrick, first-year outfielder, collected her first career hit and RBI as Showalter came through scoring. The Rockets came out on top with a 1-0 victory to begin the season.
Friday – Game 2
Heather Webb, third-year pitcher, continued what Minarchick started. Webb allowed one hit and three walks while collecting six strikeouts in five innings against Detroit Mercy. Maggie McGurk, first-year, and Alissa Noble, second-year, pitched the sixth and seventh innings.
The Rockets were the first to jump on the scoreboard with a run. Kylie Norwood, first-year infielder, hit a lead-off single to right field and Bailey Curry, first-year catcher, singled.
Showalter hit into a fielder’s choice with runners on the corners with one out and stole second, allowing Norwood to beat the play at home to earn the first run.
The Rockets picked up a pair of runs in the sixth. Norwood was hit by a pitch, Curry hit an infield single, Showalter placed a sacrifice bunt to advance baserunners and Taylor Weekly, first-year utility, powered through with a two-run single to right field.
The Rockets defeated Detroit Mercy 3-0 and began the season with two victories for the first time in 19 years.
Saturday – Game 1
Toledo came back to defeat Morgan State 2-1 on Saturday on four hits. Minarchick earned her second win after she came in for Leah Alison, second-year pitcher, in the fourth.
The UT offense came in the fifth and sixth innings from Ashley Rausch, fourth-year outfielder, Brittney Davis, first-year infielder, Curry, and Ami Ill, first-year outfielder.
Saturday – Game 2
UT’s three-game win streak came to an end against Liberty later in the day. The first innings were scoreless.
The Rockets scored the first run of the game in the fourth. With help from Katie Cozy, third-year infielder, Yenrick batted in Showalter with a single. Before this matchup, Liberty had not allowed a run to start the season.
Webb allowed two walks and an RBI single to start the fifth inning. Minarchick relieved Webb but allowed a pair of Liberty runs.
This would be the Rockets first loss of the season, 3-1, despite out-hitting the Flames, 6-2.
Toledo looked to rebound from its first loss in the Sunday morning matchup against Morgan State.
McGurk struggled with pitching during the opening inning, allowing three runs. Webb came in to relieve, throwing five shutout innings.
The Rockets rallied in the final inning with a pair of runs. Curry doubled to right center and was brought in by Kaitlyn Bergman, third-year catcher, with a two-run homer on the first pitch of her at-bat.
Even though UT once again out-hit its opponent, UT came up short, 3-2, against Morgan State.
The midnight blue and gold will continue the season heading south to Bowling Green, Kentucky on the weekend of February 23-25 in the Western Kentucky Tournament.