Hurst Softball: Laker Ladies Compete in Cactus Classic in Arizona


Christina Judy, Staff writer

The Mercyhurst Lakers softball team opened their 2023 season on the road as they traveled to Tucson, Arizona to play in the DII Cactus Classic, the first of the series of six games was a double header. The Lakers played on Thursday Feb. 16 at noon and 2:00 p.m. against Franklin Pierce University. The Lakers fell to the Ravens by one run in both games. The first game was an adjustment period for the Lakers as they were still getting a feel for their sun-filled environment. In the opening three innings of the first game, Mercyhurst struggled to get on base and the Ravens capitalized putting 2 more runs on the scoreboard. Senior Brianne Egelston and graduate student Cheyenne Hindman put in the work in the fourth inning as their bats tied the score at 2-2. The Lakers began gaining momentum in the fifth inning as Egelston scored again, this time senior Madison Fry joined her and put a run on the board for the Lakers as well, this advanced Mercyhurst to a 4-2 lead. However, Franklin Pierce fought back in the bottom of the frame as they scored four runs to put them ahead. The game resulted in an 8-7 victory for the Ravens. Although Mercyhurst made a solid effort to reclaim the lead as they scored three runs in the seventh. The Lakers had another chance to take on the Ravens in that same day just a few hours later. There was a similar playout in the second game as Franklin Pierce took on an early 4-0 lead in the opening four innings. However, the Lakers regrouped and changed the trajectory of the game in the sixth as Hindman, Egelston, Fry and senior Allison Dejidas hit well and made their way around the diamond to even the score at 4-4. Despite their efforts the Lakers fell short to the Ravens in the end as Franklin Pierce scored once more to finish the second game with a 5-4 score. Player highlights include Hindman having three base hits and a pair of singles in one game. Additionally, she had a double in game two and walked once in each game. In the first game Fry had a trio of hits and a base on balls in game two to close the day. Anna O’Geen had multiple hits throughout the day that gave her a pair of singles in game two. Even though the Lakers did not have the start to their season as they would have imagined, they did not get discouraged. Instead they came back the next day with a mission to win and that is just what they did. They beat Simon Fraser University (B.C.) with a score of 4-3. They persisted and notched their second win later that day over Georgian Court University with a score of 8-6. The conclusion of their appearance in the DII Cactus Classic is a faceoff between Western Oregon University and the University of Minnesota Crookston. After that, the Lakers look forward to competing on the road as they will play in North Carolina for their next couple of games. In addition to traveling to play in a tournament, two members of the softball team were names Atheltes of the Week by PSAC!