On March 8th, the Lady Panthers got to play their first home game in almost two years against the home Beavers of Buena Vista University. This is something a lot of the upperclassmen have looked forward to. They finally get a chance to play on their home field again after such a long wait. The Lady Panthers took the field for an 11 am game time. However, the Lady Panthers lost the first contest 6-2, and they lost the second contest 4-2.
In game 1, the Lady Panthers were able to take an early 1-0 lead in the first inning with senior Hannah Hoffman driving in a run with a single. Unfortunately, they were not able to scratch across another run until the 5th inning for their second and only other run of the game. By that point though, Buena Vista tacked on three runs in the 4th inning, and that was too much for the Lady Panthers to overcome. The Beavers tacked on an insurance run in the 6th inning. Hoffman was able to collect another RBI on a groundout in the 6th inning, giving Hoffman both the Panthers’ RBIs for game one. Senior pitcher Maegan Stone pitched all seven innings for the Panthers, giving up 10 hits. All four runs were earned.
The beginning of game two started with a pitchers’ duel as both pitchers held the opposing team scoreless through two innings. In the third, however, Buena Vista exploded for three runs. Luckily, the Panthers were able to cut that lead with a two-run double from Hoffman. Unfortunately for the Panthers, that was the end of their scoring for the day, and Buena Vista was able to scratch one run an inning for the next three innings. Hoffman had all four of the Panthers’ RBIs on the day. Kendall Farr started game two and pitched two and two-thirds innings while allowing three runs on six hits. Alison Klaus pitched the remainder of the game, giving up six hits and three runs. Only one run was earned over four-and-a-third innings pitched. After these two losses, he Panthers are 0-4 now.
Reflecting on the games, Klaus said, “I thought we took a really big step defensively this week and that we are really close to winning these ball games. A lot of girls made a lot of really nice plays. I think we can breakthrough at any moment. It is nice to be playing again and you can tell that everyone is excited. There has been a positive feel from the team, and they feel as if they are really close to breaking through.” The Lady Panthers took a big step forward this week defensively, but they are still looking for that offensive spark.
As the Lady Panthers advance through their season, they still have three series, two at Dubuque, two at Franklin, and two at Rose-Hulman, before the Lady Panthers take on Blackburn College at Blackburn for their first conference series matchup of the season on Tuesday, March 23rd.
Media by Parker Lutz.