By Jordan Fairchild
Elm Staff Writer
The Washington College baseball and softball teams traveled to Florida to compete in a tournament from Sunday to Saturday, March 13-19. The Shoremen traveled to Fort Pierce, Fla. and the Shorewomen to Clermont, Fla.
Opening the tournament on Sunday, the Shoremen faced Western Connecticut State University in a double-header. The Shoremen swept the Colonials, 7–1 in the first game and 6–0 in the second game. Senior pitcher Mike Smith allowed no runs over 5.1 innings and freshman pitcher Joe Morrissey continued to blank the Colonials over 6 innings.
The Shoremen earned a 4–3 victory against Hood College on Monday, March 14, with senior Joe Curtin hitting a perfect 3-for-3 game and scoring three runs for the Shoremen.
The Shoremen increased their winning streak to nine games after securing two wins against Kenyon College on Tuesday. During the first matchup, the Shoremen trailed the Lords 1–6, but retaliated with eight runs on five hits at the top of the sixth inning.
The Lords had the lead during the second game as well, but the Shoremen came back in the same fashion, scoring four runs on four hits in the bottom of the fifth, and closing the game out with a walk-off.
“A challenge we have faced is struggling to have what our coach calls ‘a complete game,’ meaning we get ahead early and keep pouring on the run,” Morrissey said. “We tend to start hot and then level out or start slow and turn it up late in the game.”
On Thursday, March 17, the Shoremen’s winning streak came to an end when they faced the Lords again, losing 19–13.
According to the WC Athletics website, this was the Shoremen’s longest winning streak since they won 14 straight competitions in the 2019 season.
“When we stay focused and string huge innings together with base hits or walks, rather than trying to change the game with one person and one swing of the bat, we are one of the most talented teams out there,” sophomore Logan Yi said. “That’s what needs to be our mindset moving forward.”
On Friday, March 18, the Shoremen split with Albright College, winning the first game, 7–0, and losing the second, 5–1. Morrissey threw an impressive shut-out game during the first matchup against the Lions, striking out 14 batters.
The Shoremen’s pitchers threw well despite the second-game loss with senior Ryan Mostoller striking out six batters in 3 innings and senior Alex Bendzlowicz, junior Jay Nesson, and senior Nick Brauer combining for 4 scoreless innings.
The Shoremen closed out the spring tournament by collecting two victories against Franciscan University of Steubenville, reigning over the Barons 6–2 in the first game and 3–1 in the second.
The Shoremen finished 8–2 in the tournament.
“Playing 10 games in seven days is extremely challenging, especially in the Florida heat,” senior Henry Butterfield III said. “We give a lot of credit to our coaching staff and Coach Triano and Coach Matt An for helping us throughout the trip. Being able to do prehab and rehab work at the field and in the hotel was a huge advantage for us.”
The Shoremen now have a 13–5 overall record for the season. They will host Widener University on Saturday, March 26, at noon.
“Despite our record, we still feel like we haven’t been able to put every part of the game together,” Butterfield said. “We’re still fine-tuning some bits and pieces and are hoping to play our best baseball as we get into [Centennial] Conference play.”
In Clermont, Fla., the Shorewomen began their spring tournament with two narrow losses. They were defeated by The College of St. Scholastica, 9–6, and by Stockton University, 6–4, on Sunday, March 13.
“The beginning of the week was only our third time playing together as a team,” junior Lexie Witmer said. “There were a lot of adjustments that needed to be done in a quick time and a few challenges that were going to be tough.”
On Monday, March 14, the Shorewomen bounced back to earn a split. They lost their first game of the day to Simpson College at 8–5, but came out on top against Western New England University, earning a 6–5 victory. During the second game, the Shorewomen committed zero pitching errors.
The Shorewomen faced Oswego College on Tuesday, March 15, and won 7–4. Freshman Lilly Cook and sophomore Lexi Barnhart both went two-for-four and scored two runs each.
The Shorewomen captured another split on Thursday. They defeated Maryville University, 4–2, and fell to University of Minnesota, Morris in a narrow 2–1 game. Barnhart threw five strikeouts against Maryville.
The Shorewomen lost their final two games of the tournament. They fell 5–2 to New Paltz College and 6–4 to University of Wisconsin, Platteville.
The Shorewomen finished with a 3–6 record in the tournament, bringing their overall season record to 5–6. They will compete again in a double-header on Saturday, March 26, against The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Photo by Grace Hazlehurst