Softball team tees off the fall season

By Ally Racey

The Oakland University softball team played their first games of the fall season this past Sunday, an exhibition double-header against Oakland Community College and Northwood University.

The team, with 10 newcomers, including nine freshmen, appears strong and ready to earn another Horizon League title this season.

“I expect us to defend our championship and be in a position to win it again. I believe in them and that’s how much I believe in our new kids and our returning group,” head coach Connie Miner said.

The Black and Gold won 5-0 against Oakland Community College with help from the player of the game, Sarah Hartley.

Hartley led the team with three RBIs, three runs and two hits. She said she plans to lead her team by example this season.

“We have a really young team so us upperclassmen have to do what we have to do and bring them along with us,” Hartley said. 

The team followed its win over OCC with a tough loss against Northwood in a 7-4 setback.

“We should have won, because they are good enough…we just need to clean a few things up and we’ll be fine,” Miner said.

Despite the loss, the team remained positive.

“We got quiet, but I didn’t see anyone really hanging their heads. [Lucas] is a freshman and she came up and hit a double off the fence, that’s a great way to keep going,” senior pitcher Erin Kownacki said.

Senior Laura Pond went 1-for-4 with a 2-RBI triple against Northwood and sophomore Haley Zemmer and Pond combined for seven strikeouts in the circle.

“I played everyone, that’s my goal in the fall, so this was really good for us to learn because then we have to know we have to work a lot harder,” Miner said.

Coach Miner also said there were a lot of mistakes that should not have happened, but she said she knows they are a great team and believes another Horizon League title is in the future. 

“We should have won, in my opinion,” Miner said. “We have a good group returning, we have a lot of young kids but I told them they are here for a reason, I don’t care if you’re a freshman, you are talented.”

The Golden Grizzlies travel to Traverse City Sept. 26 to compete in the Traverse City Tournament against the University of Michigan, Central Michigan and Western Michigan.

“I want to beat Central. We lost to them in the regular season, but I think we can beat them,” Hartley said.