By: Payam Agha-Ghassem, Staff Writer
Towson remains winless in conference play after losing both games of a doubleheader on Sunday against the Hofstra Pride in Hempstead, New York. The Tigers also lost the first game of the series on Saturday.
“We leave Hofstra with the confidence that we are going to beat them in May when it really matters,” senior pitcher Missy McCormick said.
The first game on Sunday got out of reach quickly for the Tigers (10-14, 0-6 Colonial Athletic Association).
With the Tigers leading 3-2 lead in the second inning, the Pride’s (15-7-1, 6-0 CAA) offense erupted for nine runs off of McCormick and junior pitcher Ambar Hickman to take an 11-3 lead.
McCormick pitched one inning and allowed three earned runs. She was taken out after allowing back-to-back home runs to start the second inning.
Hickman relieved and pitched the rest of the game, allowing 10 runs, but only four were earned. The Tigers defense committed four errors in the game.
The Tigers put three runs back on the board in the fifth inning with home runs from sophomore infielder Holiday Cahill and sophomore outfielder Jessica South. It wasn’t enough to get even with the Pride, who won 14-6.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Pride outlasted the Tigers for a 6-4 win.
Tigers’ sophomore infielder Tateum Valentine hit a solo home run in the first inning to give her team a 1-0 lead.
The Pride responded in the third inning with three runs.
The Tigers came back in the fourth inning with a solo home run from Cahill and a two-run home run by McCormick to take a 4-3 lead.
“My approach was to drive the inside pitch,” McCormick said. “I wanted to foul off the change up and outside pitches to force her bring it in and she did. I always try to pick a side of the plate to attack, and today it was the inner half.”
The Pride scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game at 4-4. In the fifth inning, infielder Megan Patierno hit a two-run home run off of Tigers’ freshman pitcher Megan Dejter to take a 6-4 lead.
Dejter allowed five earned runs in five innings of work.
The Tigers couldn’t put a rally together in the final innings to overcome the deficit.
The Pride took the first game of the series on Saturday with the help of some late-inning heroics.
Down 3-2 in the top of the seventh inning, Valentine hit her first career home run as a Tiger, a leadoff solo home run to tie the game at 3-3. In 10 at-bats this season, the Central Michigan transfer has four hits, including two home runs.
Dejter walked five batters in the game, including two in the bottom of the seventh to set up a walk-off grand slam for the Pride off the bat of sophomore Lacey Clark.
The Tigers have lost their first six conference games this season against the top 2 teams in the CAA: the James Madison Dukes and the Pride. However, five of those six losses were decided by four runs or less.
McCormick said the team is disappointed in the way the conference games have gone, but that hasn’t stopped the team from remaining confident.
“We have the tools to be a championship team, and it’s time for us to start using them collectively,” McCormick said.
The Tigers will look to snap their four-game losing streak when they travel to Fairfax, Virginia to take on the George Mason Patriots in a doubleheader on March 31. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.
They’ll then head home to play a two-game series against Norfolk State on Wednesday.