On April 10, the Sacred Heart University softball team defeated Wagner College in a doubleheader series played at the opposing team’s home field in Staten Island, N.Y. These two victories have extended the Pioneers’ winning streak to four games. Sacred Heart won the first game by a score of 1-0 and the second by 7-5.
However, the four-game win streak ended on April 13, when the Pioneers lost to the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Blue Devils 4-3. Sacred Heart went on to lose the next three games to CCSU all by one run except the last encounter, which resulted in a 15-1 victory for the Blue Devils.
Sacred Heart has a current record of 8-14 and a conference record of 6-8. This lands the Pioneers within the top four teams of their conference, according to the 2021 Northeast Conference (NEC) softball standings.
The top four teams in the NEC will qualify for the conference tournament and fight for a chance to earn a bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament. The only way to gain that bid is to win the NEC tournament.
“I’ve won the tournament twice as the fourth seed,” said head coach Pam London. “If you are the hot team going into that weekend, you can absolutely take it.”
Leaders on the team such as junior Amy Petrovich and senior Colleen Walsh may be crucial to the Pioneers in their attempt at qualifying and winning the NEC tournament.
Petrovich plays left-field and is one of the main hitters for the Sacred Heart squad, being third in the line-up.
According to Sacred Heart Athletics, in 2019, Petrovich was selected to be on the NEC All-Rookie Team, All-NEC Second Team, and NEC All-Tournament Team. That year, she had a batting average of .317. This year she holds an average of .231 for Sacred Heart.
In the second game against Wagner, Petrovich landed a three-run home run, helping secure their four-game win streak. However, this was not the first homer of the game since her teammate Alyssa Gonzalez also hit a three-run home run to help the Pioneers.
“I was most definitely more excited about Alyssa’s home run,” said Petrovich. “It was a really great feeling, and mine [home run]kind of just added onto that spark in the game.”
Sacred Heart pitcher Colleen Walsh helped the team in their winning streak by throwing a shutout victory in their first game against Wagner, striking out a total of four batters.
According to Sacred Heart Athletics, Walsh currently has a 3.18 ERA (earned run average) and has struck out 56 batters during the current season.
Walsh came through in the following game against Wagner by holding the opposing team at five runs for the last two innings. This allowed the Pioneers to keep their two-run lead and secure a victory.
“It honestly was a really good feeling [throwing a shutout game], and I knew we had to buckle down and get that win,” said Walsh.
A new face to the team, first-baseman freshman Emily Carroll, was able to help in the first game against Wagner by hitting a single, which brought in the winning run.
“It wasn’t a great hit,” said Carroll. “But it was something motivating for me… that I can do this and I’m here for a reason.”
The Pioneers played Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in a series of four games at home April 17-18. On April 17, the Pioneers lost both games against FDU with scores of 11-6 and 5-4. On April 18, the first game went into extra innings, and Sacred Heart fell 5-4 in 10 innings. The second game, the Pioneers won with a score of 2-1.