By Tyler Hofmann-Reardon
After six consecutive cancellations or postponements and almost a month without playing, the Maroons returned to action this past Monday with a double header against a strong Shenandoah squad ranked #17 in the nation for Division III baseball. Cameron Holshouser started on the mound for the Maroons, but struggled early, giving up six runs in 4.1 innings pitched. Holshouser and his relief, Michael Mares and Eli Sumpter, also received little support from the Maroon bats as Shenandoah’s pitchers held the Maroons to just two runs. The final score showed the Maroons losing handily to Shenandoah, 10-2 and Holshouser was credited with the loss. Shortstop Cal Hodgert and catcher Will Black led the Maroons at the plate, going 2-4 apiece while first baseman Clark Crutchfield notched the Maroons only two RBI’s on a single to left field.
The Maroons struggled again in the second game against Shenandoah. This time, Shenandoah exploded for four runs in the first inning, two in the third, and two in the sixth while the Maroons managed only one run in the second. Austin Gregory, who started on the mound for the Maroons, was credited with the loss after going six complete innings and giving up all eight of Shenandoah’s runs. However, three of these runs were unearned as the Maroons struggled in the field, committing four errors in the game. Will Decker led the Maroons in batting, going 2-4 and scoring the Maroons sole run off a sac fly from Collier Donald.
With the two losses, the Maroons increased their losing streak to four games and fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in ODAC play. Be sure to come out and watch the Maroons on Saturday as they look to start a winning streak against Hampden-Sydney at home.
Over break, the Roanoke Men’s Lacrosse team, ranked #17th in the nation, played three tough non-conference games against Sewanee, #6 York College of Pennsylvania, and #5 Stevenson University. The first contest pitted the Maroons against unranked Sewanee. Although the two teams received vastly different preseason rankings, Sewanee wanted to prove they could play with the best teams in the nation. Roanoke jumped out of the gate early, and put up a 4-1 lead over Sewanee in the first quarter. The second quarter saw the teams trade three goals apiece, and Roanoke still held a three goal lead, 7-4, halfway through the game. Unfortunately, Sewanee managed to sneak five goals past the Maroons in the third, and the Maroons only responded with one of their own, allowing Sewanee to take a 9-8 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Sewanee was the first to score in the fourth, but the Maroons quickly fought back to bring the score within one, 10-9. Although the Maroons managed to get a few more shots off, Sewanee held Roanoke scoreless in the final minutes of the contest to secure a 10-9 win over the Maroons.
Tyler McWilliams, Will Pilat, and Joey Dishaw led the Maroons in scoring with two goals each while Colin MacKenzie led the team with two assists on the day. Dylan Torrey played the whole game in net for the Maroons and was credited with the loss after allowing ten goals and saving twelve shots.
The next game saw the Maroons square off against #6 York College in a hotly contested battle between two of the nation’s top Division III lacrosse programs. The Maroons once again jumped out to an early lead over the Spartans, securing a 4-2 advantage at the end of the first quarter. York fought back in the second and managed to chip away at the Maroons’ lead so the second half ended with the Maroons holding on to a slim 5-4 lead. York completed the comeback in the third, outscoring the Maroons 3-2 to bring the game to a 7-7 tie heading into the final quarter. However, displaying excellent defense control, the Maroons shutout York in the final quarter on their way to securing a 10-7 upset victory over the #6 team in the nation.
The Maroons were led in scoring by Kevin Jackson, who notched a hat trick plus one for four goals on the night. Pilat was second in scoring with two goals and six different Maroons tallied an assist during the game.
After their intense upset win against York, the Maroons were faced with the challenge of overcoming another ranked team, #5 Stevenson University. Unfortunately, the Maroons were unable to complete back-to-back upsets of their ranked opponents, and they fell to Stevenson 11-8. Although the two teams were tied at the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs managed to pull away in the second and third, taking a 10-6 lead at one point. Although the Maroons fought hard until the final buzzer, they never managed to mount a successful comeback, and received their first loss to a ranked opponent this season.
The Maroons were in scoring by McWilliams and Jackson who each tallied two goals while Pilat led the team with two assists on the day.
After the break, the Maroons are now 2-2. More importantly, the team is 2-1 against ranked opponents which is a good sign for the team’s progression in the weekly polls. The Maroons return to action at home next Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. against Colorado College. Be sure to come out and support the nationally ranked Maroons.
The Maroons’ softball team took an eight game road trip down through Florida and Georgia over break, securing three solid wins including a 9-0 rout of Finlandia University to cap off the trip. The Maroons’ road trip was highlighted by wins against Saint Mary’s University, Judson University, and Finlandia along with a close 7-8 loss against the 6th team in the nation, Trine University.
Kelly Higbie led the Maroons to their first victory of the trip against Saint Mary’s after turning in a stellar performance from the hill. Higbie pitched a complete game and gave up only two runs on four hits while striking out four batters as well. Higbie also received some excellent run support from her teammates with none of eleven starters notching a hit in the winning effort. Catcher Samantha Baldwin and shortstop Rachel Guilliams led the Maroons at the plate with Baldwin tallying two hits and an RBI and Guilliams adding two hits on two at-bats and a run scored.
The next game saw the Maroons lose a tough fought battle against #6 ranked Trine University. Although Roanoke jumped out to an early 7-1 and seemed to have the game in the bag as they entered the last two innings still sporting their impressive lead. However, Trine fought back and exploded for four runs in the 5th and two in the 6th to tie the game at 7-7. With the score tied, the game was pushed into extra innings, but the Maroons eventually lost in the 8th inning after a wild pitch allowed Trine to score the final run of the game.
Surprisingly, the Maroons’ seven runs came off just three hits thanks to three wild pitches from Trine that Roanoke managed to capitalize on. Taylor Carter, Ruthie Williams, and Katie Smith tallied the Maroons’ three hits while Carter also led the team with two runs scored.
After the tough loss, the Maroons turned things around against Judson University with a solid 6-3 win. Kelly Higbie earned her second win of the season, giving up only two earned runs and striking out three in another complete game performance. The Maroons excelled at the plate as well, scoring two runs in the first inning and four in the sixth to secure a win. Rea Schleicher, Alexis Roop, and Rachel Guilliams led the team with two hits apiece and Roop, Taylor Carter, Baldwin, and Guilliams notched two, one, one, and one RBI’s for the team, respectively.
After losing their next two games, the Maroons closed out their road trip with a resounding 9-0 win over Finlandia University. Ruthie Williams earned the shutout victory on the mound for the Maroons. She only allowed one hit in her complete game performance and her teammates ensured her victory by forcing a mercy rule after just five innings. Taylor Sutherland had a monster day at the plate, going 2-4 with two runs scored and five RBI’s. Samantha Baldwin tallied three RBI’s of her own, two of which came when she smacked a double into center field.
At the conclusion of the long road trip, the Maroons found themselves with a 3-5 overall record as they begin to turn their attention to the ODAC regular season. The Maroons’ next home game is a double header on Tuesday against Greensboro College at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.