Hot softball start in Florida

Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks might be best known for his catchphrase, “Let’s play two!” The Goshen softball team took Banks’ advice to heart over spring break, playing ten games in four days at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla.

Thanks to a rain delay, the Leafs finished their trip against their first-day opponent, Michigan-Dearborn. After Goshen opened the trip by falling 8-1 to Hanover on Sunday, Feb. 26, the GC/UMD game was suspended to Wednesday, Feb. 29 to create a tripleheader. The Leafs took two of three on the final day, winning the first game 5-4 and the third 5-1 while dropping the middle contest 5-2.

Tuesday, Goshen rebounded from a 5-3 loss to Davenport to sweep a doubleheader from Houghton College, 7-6 and 9-0. Second baseman Jana Beitler, a junior, scored the first game’s go-ahead run in the third inning. Beitler was 2-for-3 with two runs.

The second game’s story was in the pitching circle. Farrah Mitchell (3-3), a first-year, did not allow a hit in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule. The complete game was Mitchell’s second in as many days: she allowed a run on five hits in a 4-1 victory over Michigan-Dearborn on Monday. Goshen also defeated Michigan-Dearborn 6-3 on Monday, with Maria Koshmider (2-0), a junior, getting the win, and lost to Davenport 10-1.

Among players with at least ten at-bats, first baseman Ame Blankenship, a junior, leads Goshen with a .323 batting average, four doubles, and a triple. Catcher Melanie Meyer, a first-year, is second with a .303 average while reaching base nearly 40 percent of the time and stealing nine bases.

Goshen’s next game is a doubleheader Saturday, March 17, at Bluffton; first pitch is at 1 p.m.

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Written by Tony Miller

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