The Drake softball team recorded two wins this past Sunday at the Paul Morrison Invitational at Buel Field. The Bulldogs downed Iowa Lakes Community College in game one, 6-0, and then topped Indian Hills Community College, 9-5, in the final game. The two victories left the team at 5-1 for the fall season, which ended on Sunday.
Pitching was strong for the Bulldogs, with seniors Jenna DeLong and Brynne Dordel facing off against the Lakers in game one. Together they combined to allow no-hits from Iowa Lakes and to strike out 16 of the 21 hitters.
DeLong started and earned the win, striking out 11 in five innings. Dordel then came in to close in the sixth and finished off the seventh, striking out five.
“It seemed as though the brisk Iowa air really enhanced Brynne’s and my pitch movement on Sunday, fooling batters left and right,” DeLong said. “My riser kept them off balance and made way for Brynne’s drop-ball style.”
Senior catcher Erin Mollohan commented on the Bulldogs’ pitching as well.
“Jenna and Brynne completely dominated in the circle this weekend, making defensive play almost effortless,” she said. “It was great to watch them both succeed as a team. They’re my best friends, and I couldn’t ask for better pitchers.”
Freshman Jordan Gronewold started game two versus Indian Hills and pitched five innings, allowing five runs on six hits and striking out five to get the win.
Dordel came in to relieve Gronewold in the sixth, allowing only one hit and striking out five players.
The Bulldogs’ offense was alive during both games with DeLong going 3-for-5 with four runs batted in, having two in each contest. Sophomore Macie Silliman was also 3-for-5 with three RBI, a triple, double and single, and one stolen base.
“The offense was pretty good all day,” said sophomore infielder Lindsey Vande Wall. “We produced a lot of runs between the two games and found ways to push runs across the plate and score. There were a lot of clutch hits by many different people.”
Junior Torey Craddock knocked in three runs in game two, including a triple in the fifth to double Drake’s lead while freshman Liz Buck scored twice and went 1-for-4 at the plate.
The wins on Sunday wrapped up the fall season for the Bulldogs, with their next games scheduled for February at the University of Northern Iowa.
“This was our best fall outing we’ve had and it was a great way to end my fall campaign at Drake,” DeLong said.
Vande Wall agreed.
“I think we learned a lot in the fall season, and improved a lot from the first practice until now,” Vande Wall said. “Everyone got a lot of playing time and experience against different teams. It showed us what we need to work on in the offseason, and hopefully we can improve on those things and get ready for the spring. Seeing how this fall went, I’m really excited for the spring because I think this team showed it has a lot of potential, and it will be fun to see what we can really do.”
Photo: Connor McCourtney