Despite capricious weather conditions, the Pioneer Softball team kick-started their East Coast Conference Championships on Thursday, March 27, with a doubleheader victory against Mercy College, at the LIU Post Softball Complex in Brookville, N.Y.
Due to constant inclement weather during their pre-season preparations, the Pioneers had to put off several games. As a result, the team has been left out from the NFCA Division II poll that is ranking the top 25 teams in the country for the last couple of weeks. However, the green and gold recently reclaimed a spot, going in as number 23, and in the ECC premier the team demonstrated why.
The Pioneers (currently 15-3) dictated the first game, without giving any room for the guests to shine. LIU Post simply took the first game in five innings, marking an 11-0 win. Senior Liz Weber stood for her eighth victory of the season, as she threw a complete-game three- hitter; a game in which a pitcher allows the opposing team only three hits, while walking just one and striking out two.
In the nightcap (the second game), the Mercy Mavericks sought revenge, and finally found their way around the course to earn their
first points of the afternoon. Although, the visitors would not hold on to their lead very long, as sophomore and third baseman Maria Palmeri sacrificed herself in center field to send home her teammate from third base. The Green Machine helped each other around smoothly, and finally counted for eight points, two more than the visitors.
Unfortunately, the rain found its way back, and washed out the possibilities to play on Saturday, March 29. Undefeated at home, the green and gold now have to try and keep its 12 game winning-streak going, in what will become the first away game for the ECC season next week. First off will be Bridgeport on April 1, for a new pair of matches, starting at 2 p.m.
In focus: Last week, on Monday, March 24, two Pioneers received honors for their contributions to the team’s success lately. Junior catcher Aly Dzierzynski was selected as the East Coast Conference Player of the Week, while freshman hurler Ashley Martin was named Rookie of the Week.