Softball looks to finish season against Olivet on a high note

Photo+courtesy+Calvin+SID

Photo courtesy Calvin SID

A recent upset of rival and nationally ranked Hope College wasn’t enough to get Calvin’s softball program into the postseason. Calvin faces Olivet in their last doubleheader of the season with an overall record of 10-20, 4-10 in conference.

Sophomore Paige Groom picked up her first win against Hope College in game two of the double header last Tuesday. She went the distance, striking out four Hope batters.

“When Jess Gillings fielded the ground ball at second to get the final out at first, I could not believe we just won,” Groom said.

“There really is no other feeling than coming out on top in a rivalry game like that. Being able to pitch a complete game win against Hope was truly amazing and something I will hold on to forever,” he said:

“Our team fought through every play and at-bat and it made it so much easier being in the circle knowing that my team has my back no matter what.”

Calvin took the lead the first chance they had in the bottom of the first. After a two-run home run tied up the game at three in the top of the sixth, senior outfielder Kelsey Pollock drove in first-year outfielder Madi Jongekrijg for the go-ahead run.

Hope was able to get two runners in scoring position but ended the game with a ground out.

Going into Saturday’s games against Olivet, Calvin softball is led offensively by junior catcher Lydia Gildea who sports a .413 batting average in 75 at-bats. Gildea has contributed two of the team’s 10 home runs. Pollock has also contributed two and junior Ashley Riemersma leads the team with three.

Gildea and Groom expressed their desire to go out on a positive note. Gildea said, “These last games are a thank you to those teammates who are graduating and won’t be back next year. It’s important to play well for them and to send them off on a high note.”

Those seniors are Pollock and fellow outfielder Christie VanderMeer who is third in team batting average, hitting .372 on the season.

“It was definitely a building and learning season, which is definitely going to help us next season,” said Groom, “We had a very cohesive team who worked together through every game. Our record is most definitely not a reflection of our work ethic and perseverance, and I had a great time playing with and getting to know everyone on our team.”

The Knights will take on Olivet this weekend at home. The first game is at 1 p.m.