Grenadiers plow over Pioneers

IUS Horizon

The second half of softball season is beginning, and the Grenadiers are entering it in strong shape.

The team – led by new Head Coach Joe Witten – has achieved a 16-4 record so far this season, as of March 30.

Bethany Sullivan, junior pitchers, throws a pitch during the Grenadiers’ games against the Point Park Pioneers on March 22. The Grenadiers ultimately won the game 5-3 with the help of Sullivan’s pitching. Sullivan pitched the full seven innings only surrendering three runs.

They currently possess a 12-game winning streak, and have won all but one of their March games so far.

A challenge to the team’s winning streak came in the form of the Point Park Pioneers, who recently joined the Grenadiers in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The teams played against each other for the first time this season on March 22, and both of their games were close.

In each game, the Pioneers got off to a strong start.

However, the Grenadiers built stronger momentum in the later innings, and ultimately got the upper hand in each matchup.

The Grenadiers won the first game 5-3, and the second game 5-4.

Megan Sutherland, team captain for the Grenadiers, said she was satisfied with the team’s performance against the Pioneers. She did not name any MVPs, instead praising the team as a whole.

“We had a few hiccups here and there, but overall it was a great team effort,” Sutherland said. “We pitched well, we hit well, and we fielded well. Even the little things that don’t make it into the scorebook are equally as important.”

Sutherland, who is in her third season as team captain, said she is cautiously optimistic about maintaining the team’s winning streak.

“The winning streak is very exciting, but you can’t get too excited,” Sutherland said. “As long as we play how we know how to play, we should be able to extend the winning streak.”

Witten said he is pleased with his team, and praised the players’ offensive abilities. He also said there are still areas in need of work.

“I have been pleased with the player development so far. However, we much more room to grow and improve,” Witten said. “Our defense and base running have plenty of room for improvement.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Witten said he believes in the team.

“We have the ingredients to be a champion,” Witten said. “We just have to focus on improving every day to meet our team’s potential.”

Witten said he is committed to making each individual player a strong asset within the team.

“Each team member understands our goals,” Witten said. “When they become off track on those goals, it is my responsibility to reinforce them and continue to make each player better each day.”

Sutherland said she appreciates her team and is optimistic for their future.

“I am really looking forward to us growing closer as a team in the remainder of the season,” Sutherland said.

“The closer we become, the easier it is to fight when our backs are against the wall in games.”

Though Sutherland is in her senior season, she said she plans to continue supporting her teammates even after her time on the team is over.

“These girls will be my friends long after the season is over,” Sutherland said.

The Grenadiers will be playing regularly throughout the rest of the semester. Admission to their games is free for all students