Written and Media by Jaylen Shelton.
The softball team at Greenville finished its season off strongly. Against opponents in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Panthers had a record of 15 wins and only 3 losses. In the games against their last five conference opponents, they earned a perfect ten wins and no losses. The teams that they went against were Principia, Blackburn, Iowa Wesleyan, Macmurray, and Westminster. In those games, they scored a whopping 92 runs and only allowed the other teams to score 24, which means they outscored their opponent by 68 total points. This is a huge margin in softball. With how the last few games have been going for them, the Panthers are coming into SLIAC Championship with a lot of momentum on their side. Junior Cayla Speaks said, “Our team goals this year were to play for each other and leave everything out there for each other.” The Panthers have been doing a great job of accomplishing those goals, and the winning streak they are currently on took a total team effort. That meant they played well on both sides of the field. They have been great on offense, and their defense has been stout.
Greenville traveled to Blackburn to face them in two games. Greenville destroyed Blackburn in the first game 17-2. Blackburn put up a better fight in the second game but ultimately lost 8-7. In the first game, the Panthers basically did anything that they wanted to. The Panthers had three home-runs from three different players. Becca Oldham, Kate Jolliff Rosado, and Speaks all hit home-runs for the Panthers. Oldham led the team with five RBIs (runs batted in), and Speaks had the second most with three RBIs. Caitie Opp pitched all seven innings for the Panthers. She faced a total of 29 batters and only allowed five hits. The Panthers altogether had 17 total hits, which equated to 17 runs scored. In the second game, Blackburn kept it close, but the Panthers ended up winning the game, thanks to home-runs by Oldham and Beth Mersinger. Rosado led the team with three RBIs and Emi Hug contributed with two RBIs of her own. The pathers had three pitchers in this game, Opp, Kendall Farr, and Maegan Stone who combined for 6 strikeouts and only allowed seven runs.
Greenville came home with two victories with scores of 10-0 and 15-2 as they traveled to Macmurray. The Panthers were in complete control of both games. In the first match, they were led by Rosado who had three RBIs and Oldham who had two. Speaks pitched four innings for the Panthers. She faced a total of 16 batters and did not allow a single run. Farr came in and pitched the last inning for the Panthers and closed out the game successfully. In the second game, the Panthers had home-runs from Rosado and Farr. These two also led the team in RBIs. Stone took care of the pitching duty and pitched all seven innings. She faced 29 batters and had five strikeouts and only allowed 8 hits. In the two games combined, the Panthers outscored Macmurray 25-2.
In the Panthers final regular season games, they beat Westminster 7-4 and 4-3. In the first game, the Panthers were led by Farr who hit a home-run. The Panthers had six different players get an RBI. Jordyn Wieland was able to be sneaky and steal a base twice in the game. Opp pitched all seven innings for the Panthers and was able to get a strikeout. She faced 36 batters and threw 91 pitches and 66 strikes. In the second game, the Panthers held off a late surge by Westminster. Out of the three total RBIs, Rosado had two and Farr had one. Stone pitched the entire game for Greenville, pitching against 29 batters.
With the Panthers finishing the season strong, they look to go into the conference tournament with a lot of momentum. The conference tournament is from May 3rd-5th, and the Panthers first opponent is Fontbonne, who they split games with this year. The Panthers will look to repeat as champions, as they won the SLIAC tournament last year. If they are to win it, it will be coach Buddy Foster’s second title in his second year coaching Greenville’s softball team.