Softball Goes Perfect in Season Opener

Image Courtesy of Hartford

Image Courtesy of Hartford

T.J. Hummel, Sports Editor

The Hartford Softball team opened up their season over this past weekend with a double-header against the Seton Hall Pirates. This is the first matchup of the 2021 season for the Hawks and they did not disappoint.

The first pitch occurred and game one was well underway. Seton Hall was able to strike first with an RBI double by Jaden Tate. The game would evidently become a pitcher’s duel as Hartford starter Julianna Kocenski struck out one batter and held Seton Hall from tacking onto their lead. In the bottom half of the fifth, Hartford was able to strike back as Kocenski showed her prowess at the plate, ripping a double into center field. The very next at-bat, Haley Cassidy launched a 2-run home run over the center-field fence to give Hartford a 2-1 lead. The Hawks tacked on another run as Emma Armstrong hit a sacrifice fly, plating Danielle Rocheleau giving them a solid 3-1 lead. The Pirates wouldn’t go down easily as they racked up five runs to give themselves a commanding 6-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning.

Hartford responded with a monster inning of their own. The first three hitters for the Hawks found themselves on base as Zoe Truxon hit a sacrifice fly to left field to cut the deficit to two. Cori Jones was able to reach base before a Rocheleau walk, which plated Cassidy and cut the deficit to just one run. In the very next at-bat, Kelsey Galevich would fly out to the third baseman, scoring Lily Spencer.

The Hawks saw the perfect opportunity in front of them, a walk-off victory to seal the comeback. Emma Armstrong stepped up to the plate and ripped a game-winning RBI single to secure the victory.

There was little time to rest as game two was going to be underway shortly. Coming off of a fresh walk-off victory, Hartford looked to keep their winning ways as they started off the second, and final game of the weekend.

Hartford’s first two batters found themselves on base with Danielle Rocheleau stepping up to the dish. Rocheleau ripped a two-RBI double into right-center field, scoring Chandler Mitchell and Cori Jones. Kelsey Galevich wanted a piece of the action and ripped an RBI double of her own, scoring Rocheleau and giving the Hawks an early 3-0 lead. Caylee English was lights-out on the mound over the next two innings, recording three strikeouts and denying the Pirates any chance at mounting a comeback. Hartford’s bats came alive again in the bottom of the third as Rocheleau nuked a solo homer off of the scoreboard, before Emma Curry and Paige Fedak tallied RBIs of their own, giving the Hawks a 6-0 advantage after three innings. Hartford tacked on two more runs and held on to both win with an 8-0 shutout, but they achieved the weekend sweep.

To cap off their opening weekend sweep, Freshman Zoe Truxon took home the America East Rookie of the Week honors. In her collegiate debut, Truxon went 2-3 from the plate, collecting her first collegiate RBI during the 7-6 walk-off victory for Hartford in game one.

Hartford is set to open up conference play on April 4th as they open up a three-game weekend series against Stony Brook on the Hartford Softball field. The first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 1:00 P.M.