The softball team went 3-2 this past weekend, sweeping Colby (1-4 NESCAC, 5-12 overall) in a three-game series, but then fell in a double header the following day against defending D-III national champion Tufts (5-0 NESCAC, 21-3 overall).

Although the team relied mostly on the strength of its bats early in the season, the team’s pitching has been earning it wins recently. After giving up six runs in her opening start of the season back in March, Melissa DellaTorre ’14 threw her second shutout of the year in the Polar Bears’ 2-0 win over Colby on Saturday—and allowed just one hit.

Although the Polar Bears’ offense got off to a slow start, junior Adriane Krul’s single batted in Siena Mitman ’15 for what would be the winning run in the fifth. Casey Correa ’14, who went 2-3 that afternoon, added an insurance run for DellaTorre with a solo homerun in the seventh inning.

“We’ve kind of had two different seasons. One early in the year where we hit really well and our pitching was slow to come along,” said Head Coach Ryan Sullivan. “And then the last six or seven games, our hitting has leveled off a little bit and our pitching has come up strong.”

Sullivan is somewhat surprised to see the pitching surge come this late in the season.

“Softball pitchers can go and go and go, but what you find is over the course of a season they start to wear down,” Sullivan said. “So I think that we’re fortunate with four quality pitchers we’re able to mix and match a little bit.”

The following day the Polar Bears opened up their double header with a win in what turned out to be a pitchers’ duel against Colby.  Emily Griffin ’17 emerged victorious—pitching a 1-0 shutout—but the winning run did not come until Correa hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh.

The team’s bats started to pick up in the third leg of the double header in a 4-2 win. Colby got on the scoreboard first, but a double from Dimitria Spathakis ’16 and another Correa home run in the third helped settle Julia Geaumont ’16 down, who finished the complete game.

On Sunday, the team travelled to Medford to play its third day in a row—this time a double header against Tufts. In the first game, Tufts’ Allyson Fournier, who is a perfect 10-0 this season, was too much for the Polar Bears. Although Griffin found her rhythm late in the game, the team could not battle back from a Tufts three-run homer in the first, ultimately losing 4-0.

Errors killed the Polar Bears in their last game of the weekend, as DellaTorre only gave up one earned run in a 3-1 loss. The errant play may have been partially due to the fatigue built up over the weekend.

“It’s hard. It’s physically demanding…but the mental part is really the key though,” said Sullivan. “It doesn’t require as much physical stamina as other parts, but mentally you have to be engaged the whole time, and it can be really mentally draining.”

The Polar Bears travel out of conference this weekend with double headers at Husson today and one at home against Brandeis on Saturday.

“We’ve had a nice rivalry with both of those programs over the last six or seven years,” said Sullivan. “They’re quality programs so my message going into this weekend is ‘let’s treat this like a conference weekend because they are quality teams.’”