CLERMONT, Fla. – The Haverford College softball team opened up its season with a pair of tough battles against Monmouth and No. 3 Washington College (Mo.) on Sunday. The Fords were edged out in the first game, 2-1, before falling to their nationally-ranked foes by a 9-0 final in the second contest of the year.
Sunday's season opener against Monmouth was a true pitcher's duel. Kendall Chambers got the first start of the year for the Fords and went five innings. She allowed just two hits and two walks, while striking out four. The junior conceded just one earned run, but it would be the unearned run that proved to be the difference in the final score.
Three errors in the bottom of the second scored the Fighting Scots' first run of the afternoon. Monmouth looked to be in position for a second run with a runner and third and nobody out. However, Chambers struck out the next two batters before inducing a groundout to second base to escape the jam. The Fighting Scots also manufactured a run with a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth to go up 2-0 with the first batter being the only hit of the inning.
Haverford cut the lead in half when freshman Kaitlyn Guild worked a walk and classmate Julia Blake singled to put the first two runners on base in the fifth. Emily Gorman promptly bunted them into scoring position before an RBI groundout from Alex Craig. Guild also singled with one out in the seventh during the Fords' last chance to rally. However, she was stranded on second to end the game.
The Fords ran into an equally tough pitching matchup in the second game against the No. 3 team in the country. With six wins already under their belts coming into the day, the Bears kept their hot start rolling on Sunday.
Haverford's Emily Winesett got the ball in game two and did her best to keep her team close enough to strike late. Through five innings, the Fords' senior captain allowed just six hits and three earned runs. However, Washington University made the most of three Haverford errors in the top of the sixth and scored five runs to put the run-rule in effect.
Kristin Tatum broke up Washington's no-hit bid in the bottom of the fifth when she singled into right field off of Annie Pitkin. Tatum, who was eventually picked off of first, proved to be Haverford's only runner of afternoon as the Bears' pitching staff faced the minimum number of hitters Sunday.
The softball team will return to the fields on Monday against Moravian and Millsaps. Playing back-to-back games, the Fords will start their day at 3 p.m. against Moravian.