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Softball splits doubleheader against Colby, will face Tufts

May 4, 2023

Courtesy of Brian Beard
PITCHER PERFECT: Lilly Armstrong ’23 celebrates with the softball team after a win. The team plays Tufts University this weekend.

Last weekend, the softball team (19–17; 9–7 NESCAC) split its doubleheader against Colby College (20–12; 7–7 NESCAC) in its final home series of the regular season. Bowdoin suffered a 10–5 loss to Colby before rebounding in the second game 4–2. Splitting a series against a NESCAC opponent is nothing new for the Polar Bears. The team has walked away from every series this season with at least one win, and it attributes its victories to its grit and work ethic. Bowdoin is hoping to continue utilizing these qualities as it prepares to take on Tufts University (33–3; 15–1 NESCAC) this weekend and looks ahead to the postseason.

Colby took an early 2–0 lead in the first game, but Bowdoin went up in the third inning when third baseman Angelina Mayers ’23 hit a two-run single and catcher Katryna Dukehart ’23 batted in a run. The Mules, however, responded by plating seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings, and Bowdoin could not catch up.

“I think the loss was more of a defensive pitching issue. We gave up a lot of runs and a couple errors and didn’t score enough to make up for that,” shortstop Lilly Armstrong ’23 said.

The Polar Bears entered the second game of the day undeterred.

“We made some mistakes in the first game and gave [Colby] more opportunities, and they capitalized, but like we’ve done all year, it’s really nice to see our group be resilient,” Head Coach Ryan Sullivan said. “As a coach, you’re obviously disappointed you lost the first game, but you don’t feel like you’re not going to show up for the second game. This group has been really good about showing up.”

Bowdoin scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning to take the lead in the second half of the doubleheader. Mayers hit a single that plated JK Bradley ’25, and Kiera Dent ’24 drew a bases-loaded walk. Pitcher Maddie Current ’26 played all seven innings and struck out five batters.

“In the second game, we played a lot cleaner and didn’t let them get their offense going. In both games, we were able to score a lot of runs, which was really good, but the win was just about managing the defense and runs against,” Armstrong said.

The team was satisfied with how it responded after the initial loss and takes pride in how it has handled adversity throughout the season.

“As a team, we compete really hard, even in the games we don’t win. We fight really hard throughout the game. There’s been a lot of games where we come back in the seventh inning, and we’ve also had a few walk offs,” Armstrong said. “We never give up on a game…. One of our core team values is grit, and I think we’ve really shown that.”

Tomorrow, Bowdoin will play its final games of the regular season against Tufts, who sits at the top of the NESCAC and has only lost one conference game all season. Sullivan said the hardest part about playing Tufts is trying to find its weakness—they have strong pitching, play good defense and score a lot of runs. However, he added that Bowdoin always appreciates a good challenge.

“We’re playing the number one team in the conference, so there’s not a bigger challenge for us right now. It’s our last game of the regular season, so let’s go see what we can do,” Sullivan said.

Both Armstrong and Dukehart said that while the Polar Bears have lost their last four games against the Jumbos, playing against such a formidable team brings out the best in them.

“When we play Tufts, we know it’s going to be a really good game, and we really bring out that fire and that competition,” Dukehart said. “From the second game last weekend, coming off of a win, coming in from a hitting perspective, we’re in a good place and ready to bring it.”

After facing Tufts, Bowdoin will compete in the NESCAC playoffs, which start next weekend. While conference standings are yet to be finalized, the team believes it is capable of finding postseason success regardless of its seed.

“There hasn’t been a [NESCAC] team that has swept us, which I think is a good sign because it gives us confidence going in, and we know we can beat every team that we play,” Armstrong said.

Dukehart added that pitching in the NESCAC is particularly strong this year, which keeps conference games competitive.

“I think an interesting thing about all the NESCAC teams is that each game, you don’t really know what’s going to happen,” Dukehart said. “Every game we go into, we have to come into it ready to go. There’s no game that’s given to you. Keeping that mindset heading into playoffs will be really helpful for us.”

Bowdoin will play Tufts tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Medford, Mass.


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