By Emma Hladik, Staff Writer
Coming off a Centennial Conference Championship win last season, the Gettysburg Bullets are looking to achieve a similar level of success this season, and the weeks of conference games ahead of them will prepare to do so.
The Bullets most recently played a Saturday afternoon doubleheader against the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia on March 26th at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. The Bullets succumbed to the Mary Washington Eagles in both games, losing 3-0 and then 8-5, respectively. However, these games being non-conference matchups, they will not seriously affect the Bullets going forward.
University of Mary Washington’s Caitlyn Burch pitched a no-hitter against the Bullets in the first game, resulting in the 3-0 shutout. The Eagles scored two runs in the opening inning against the Bullets and tallied their third run in the sixth inning.
First-year Paige Forry pitched six innings with four strikeouts and gave up four hits and three runs, two of which were earned.
Coming back into the second game, Mary Washington scored two runs in the first inning, but Gettysburg came back to take the lead with three runs in the top of the second. Mary Washington had two fielding miscues, allowing the Bullets offense to take advantage with sophomore Giovanna Komst hitting a sacrifice fly.
Unfortunately, Gettysburg did not stay in the lead for long since the Mary Washington Eagles countered with four runs of their own in the bottom frame of the second. At the top of the third, the score was 6-3. Mary Washington helped improve their lead to 8-3 with two unearned runs in the fifth inning.
First-year Lauren O’Leary went two for four from the plate with a run scored. Junior Olivia Moser scored a pair of runs for the Bullets, but the team came up short, losing 8-5.
Both University of Mary Washington and Gettysburg committed three errors. Sophomore Megan Hughes took the mound for the second game, bringing her season record to 2-2.
Komst recorded a double and one RBI (run batted in). Catcher and first-year Elliana Hopple and first-year Gianna Peralta also aided the Bullets’ overall run totals, both hitting sacrifice flies. Moser had two runs and was hit by a pitch. O’Leary, sophomore Nikki Caesar, and Peralta all scored one run. O’Leary stole a base and Peralta got hit by a pitch in the second game.
“We had a couple of tough games last weekend against Mary Washington, so we’re hoping to come back strong against Ursinus on Saturday,” sophomore Julia Schinik said.
Softball started their season in the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in North Myrtle Beach from March 6th to March 11th. The Bullets won seven out of their eight games, beating a collection of teams including Penn State Harrisburg, Centenary University, Montclair State University, Salem College, Penn State Abington, Fitchburg State University, and Cedar Crest College. They only lost one game halfway through the tournament against King’s College 14-7.
On March 18th, they played a doubleheader against Lebanon Valley College, losing both games by scores of 9-0 and 4-1, respectively. They battled Shenandoah University for two games on Sunday, March 20th, coming out victorious in both games 2-1 and 4-3.
The Bullets played York College for another doubleheader, on Tuesday, March 22th, losing both games 5-3 and 9-1.
“After coming off a great last season winning the Centennial Conference title in 2021, one of our main goals is to make the postseason,” Schinik said. “To make the postseason, it all has to start with conference play, so it’s definitely exciting to start that this week. We also have a big freshmen class with a lot of talent, so the past few weeks of play have been really exciting to see everyone coming together on the field.”
Looking ahead at the Bullets’ schedule for the next couple of weeks, all of their upcoming competitors are Centennial Conference schools. The Bullets play another doubleheader at Ursinus College on Saturday, April 2nd at 1:00 P.M. and then 3:00 P.M. They then are scheduled to play two more conference doubleheaders against Franklin and Marshall College and Muhlenberg College the week of April 4th. As mentioned, these conference matchups will be critical for Gettysburg softball’s success.