Softball opens season with two victories

2018 First Team All MIAA pitcher Anna Gernant opened the season in the circle for the Knights.

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2018 First Team All MIAA pitcher Anna Gernant opened the season in the circle for the Knights.

The nationally ranked Calvin softball team opened its season with two wins against former NCAA Tournament foe Franklin College.

2018 All MIAA pitcher Anna Gernant struggled in her first inning of the season, walking two of the first three batters and allowing a base hit, which propelled Franklin to an early 1-0 lead in game one.

After a single by Calvin freshman Hannah Biddlecome and an error, the Knights tied the contest in the top of the third inning. A double by junior Abi Colon and a single by senior Maddie DeGroot gave Calvin a 3-1 lead. However, four straight walks and a wild pitch by Gernant allowed Franklin to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.   

The Knights quickly responded to the Franklin rally, scoring one run in both the fifth and sixth innings. The two-run deficit wasn’t enough to make Franklin give up, as they scored a run early in the bottom of the seventh and eventually loaded the bases with two outs, losing by one run.

With a full count, Franklin senior Taylor Bounin hit a sharp groundball to Calvin senior Kristen Newman, which was flipped to second base just quick enough to get the game ending force-out, giving Calvin a 5-4 victory in game one.

Game two was a much more convincing win for the Knights, ending with a final score of 6-0. Calvin sophomore Ellie Borst shut down the Franklin offense, only allowing four hits in her seven-inning complete game shutout.

Borst was helped by a three RBI game from DeGroot and two RBIs from Newman, which included a solo homerun.

DeGroot and Newman led the Calvin offense for the day, racking up five hits apiece. DeGroot’s four RBIs were also a day high for the Knights. Calvin’s pitchers only allowed nine hits in both games combined, but struggled with control, giving away 11 free passes, seven of which were credited to Gernant.

The Knights take on second ranked Illinois Wesleyan and thirteenth ranked Linfield in Florida on March 16.