Propelled from an eight-game winning streak, the Millersville softball team continued their strong play over the weekend at the West Virginia Wesylan Tournament.

They won four out of five games to continue their impressive play.  The Marauders lost their first game in the tournament against Ohio Valley University to end the eight game streak, but won their next four to start a new streak.

The team received a great pitching performance from senior Janelle Mrakovich, but came up short losing to Ohio Valley 1-0.  Mrakovich pitched a complete game, only gave up three hits and struck out eight opponents.  Ohio Valley scored in the fifth after a lead off double and RBI single.

Pitching has been very good for the Marauders this season.  The combination of sophomore Courtney Eckman, freshman Brittany Peterson and seniors Emily Flieger and Mrakovich has accounted for all 17 of the team’s wins.  The four pitchers combine for an impressive 2.63 earned run average per game.  They have struck out 92 batters in 179 innings.  Pitching has not been the only strength so far this season.

The team’s hitting is also improving.

“Pitching is very strong right now but we are hitting too,” Head Coach Kathy Cummings said.  “We have a lot of confidence and we are putting the bat on the ball, especially in clutch positions and with runners in scoring position.”

The team displayed their clutch hitting against West Virginia Wesleyan College on Friday.  Millersville scored three runs in the top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie and win 6-3.  Freshman Dana Bozzetto started the inning reaching base on an error.  Freshman Ally Homa sacrificed her over to second base and junior Lindsay Hosier smacked a two run home run.  Senior Shaina Briel added another home run in the next at bat to put the game out of reach.  The team is playing with confidence after struggling in Florida to start the season.

Sophomore Sarah Ernesto swings at a pitch during the softball team's game against Lincoln (Pa.) University. Photo by: Christian Shuts.
Sophomore Sarah Ernesto swings at a pitch during the softball team's game against Lincoln (Pa.) University. Photo by: Christian Shuts.

Coach Cummings was surprised her team started slowly, but knew the team would bounce back.

“I was surprised we started the season struggling, but we have a lot of talent and I knew we would be competitive,” Cummings said.  “We just needed to clean up a few things early on in the season.”

Millersville finished off the weekend playing Salem International University, University of Charleston and Seton Hill.  The offense and pitching continued to play well against Salem International, scoring 10 runs off nine hits and giving up zero runs.  Peterson picked up her fifth and sixth wins in the games versus Charleston and Seton Hill.  She pitched a complete game in a 9-2 win against Charleston and pitched 6.2 innings in a 10-9 win over Seton Hill.  Peterson battled back from a two run late inning surge from Seton Hill to record her sixth win.

Millersville plays at Kutztown Wednesday, and returns home Friday and Saturday to play Shippensburg and West Chester.  These are important games on the schedule for the Marauders.

“The competition will be the best so far, but as long as we play our game we’ll be able to beat anyone,” Cummings said.