It may not have been senior day for sophomore pitchers Jillian Olmstead and Sam Bender, but their performances on the mound were sure noteworthy.
The duo combined for two shutouts against Stevens Institute of Technology (14—21 overall, 5—5 Empire 8) with victories of 3-0 and 6-0. Olmstead and Bender only allowed four hits combined in both games and allowed only one hit in the second game. Bender picked up her 11th and 12th victories by pitching the first five innings of both games while Olmstead collected her sixth save of the season pitching the rest of the way.
With the sweep, the softball team improved to 25—11 overall and concluded its Empire 8 Conference slate with a perfect 12—0 record. Bender said there was a little extra motivation to pitch well for her teammates who were playing their final regular season game on Kostrinsky Field.
“We wanted to win this game for the seniors, but we knew we had the win the game for ourselves as well,” Bender said.
The offense for the Bombers was fairly stagnant in the first game, as they collected all three runs and four hits in the third inning. After a lead-off single by sophomore left fielder Rachael Dell’Orto, freshman shortstop Francesca Busa hit a single to center scoring Dell’Orto. Sophomore first baseman Sydney Folk then cleared the bases with a 2-RBI double, and junior third baseman Molly O’Donnell concluded the scoring with an RBI single.
Stevens Head Coach Erica Mehalick said her pitchers gave the Bombers too many pitches to hit in the first game.
“The couple times that they did score runs, we left the ball up in the zone, and you can’t do that to a team with a lot of power,” Mehalick said. “The reason we did limit their offense for a while was being able to keep the walks down and not give them free baserunners.”
In game two, the scoring was more sporadic as the Blue and Gold plated two runs in the first, third, and sixth innings. Busa doubled then scored on junior second baseman Jen Biondi’s RBI single. Folk then added to her team-leading hitting statistics with an RBI single of her own. Folk now leads the South Hill squad in RBI with 31 and boasts a .417 batting average.
Bender and Olmstead suffocated the Ducks’ bats again, but Stevens freshman third baseman Jamie DeGennaro busted Bender’s no-hitter bid in the fourth inning with a single.
The Blue and Gold wrap up regular season play at 3 p.m. Wednesday as they travel to Keuka College, a team that eliminated the Bombers from the postseason last year.