After completing the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., the Drake softball team traveled to Columbia, Mo., for a two-game stand against the Missouri Tigers. After dropping both games in Missouri, the team took its play to Tulsa, Okla., for the Tulsa Invitational.
Drake went 2-2 at the Tulsa Invitational, registering wins over North Dakota and Ohio State, but losing to host Tulsa and Iowa State.
In the Bulldog’s first game of the invitational against Tulsa, senior standout pitcher Jenna DeLong took the mound, but only pitched one inning after giving up four runs on two hits.
Senior Brynne Dordel pitched the second and third innings, giving up seven runs total in the two innings. Freshman Jordan Gronewold replaced Dordel, pitching a scoreless fourth inning, before the game ended 11-2 in favor of Tulsa.
Even after such a tough loss, the Bulldogs did not hang their heads, returning to the diamond the next day to beat North Dakota 2-1 in eight innings.
Freshman Gronewold made the first start of her career and pitched the first 4.2 innings, giving up only one run before DeLong came in to finish the job.
“It felt great being out there on the mound for my first college start,” Gronewold said.
DeLong threw 3.1 shutout innings and earned the win to improve to 5-2 on the season.
The Bulldogs scored in the third inning via a solo home run by junior Torey Craddock, and then tallied the game-winning unearned run by Macie Silliman in the eighth inning on a groundball by Craddock.
“I’m glad I could add something to the team,” Craddock said. “Jordan [Gronewold] came out and started the game off great. The team kept adding pressure throughout the game, I just did what I could to help out.”Last Saturday, Drake took on Iowa State and Ohio State in a doubleheader. The team lost a close 3-2 decision to the Cyclones before blasting the Buckeyes 10-4.
“As a team we just need to remember what it feels like to win,” Craddock said. “We play so well together, we just need to go out there and have fun.”
Gronewold was back in the circle against Ohio State, and the freshman received plenty of help on offense to earn her first win. Gronewold helped her own cause by belting a two-run homer.
Despite recent struggles for the team, players remain confident and keep in mind what they need to do to get back on track.
“We’re focusing on going out and playing hard every single game, no matter the opponent,” junior Rose Magaddino said.