by Liam Tormey ’22
Two weekends ago, the Providence College Softball Team traveled to Huntsville, TX to compete in their first competition of the season: the 2020 Bearkat Classic.
Traveling did not come easy for the Friars as they planned to head down on Thursday, February 13. Unfortunately, the ladies faced travel problems as their flight was canceled. On the bright side, they were able to reschedule their flight to the next morning.
The team woke up at 3 a.m. and had a double-header which started just 15 hours after wake-up. Problems in the air caused problems for the Friars, but they still had to play five games during the weekend.
On Friday, the first game for the ladies was against the Houston Baptist University Huskies. The Huskies jumped to a 6-0 lead thanks to a four-run fourth inning which sealed the victory at 7-1. Miranda Trinidad ’20 got the start on the mound for the Friars and Elysia Cunnigan ’23 came in to relieve Trinidad for her first appearance for the Friars.
Game two started very quickly after the conclusion of game one for the Friars. Their opponent was Sam Houston State University Bearkats. The first inning put the Bearkats at a 2-0 advantage and the Friars were not able to claw their way back into the game. The final score was 9-1. Coach Jill Karwoski said the ladies “emptied the tank” after travelling for most of the day and being short on sleep.
Saturday would involve two more games for the Friars. It would be a much better day after a full night of rest.
Houston Baptist was the first opponent of the day and the game was much closer than it had been just 20 hours before. After a run in the first inning for the Huskies and a response in the third by the Friars, the Huskies scored four runs in the bottom of the third to make the score 5-1. The Friars brought the game back to make it 5-3 after Mackensie Compton ’20 had four at bats and three RBIs with a two-run home run in the fifth.
The next two games of the weekend showed the promise the Friars wished for heading to Texas. Sam Houston would be the opponent again, but with a much different result. After being down 5-2, the Friars had an eight-run fourth to seal the first victory of the season with a score of 11-7. Cunnigan got the win on the mound for the ladies with four strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched, which secured her first win as a Friar. Crista San Antonio ’20 had a great day at the plate with four RBIs and two hits, one being a home run, for three at bats.
Coach Karwoski said, “Besides sleep, the biggest change the team made was finding their ability to play loose, letting go of the outcome and being more present in each moment as it presented itself.”
The Friars finished the weekend strong with a exciting win against George Mason University. After going down early in the first inning, 1-0, the Friars played well defensively but could not get the bats going. In the bottom of the seventh inning with three outs before the game was over, Tiana Wren ’23 hit a walk-off three-run home run to win the game 3-1 and finish the weekend 2-3.
The Friars will be competing in several competitions before the start of Big East play and coach Karwoski stressed the importance of these tournaments because they “allow for us as coaches to see what lineup options we can potentially have and for our players to see, adjust, and compete against a range of competition and talent.”
Big East play for the Friars will begin March 20 at home against St. John’s University.