The Cardinals started their softball season playing in the Music City Invitational in Hendersonville, Tennessee, this past weekend.
The team dropped its first two contests, 12-4 against Truman State and 7-1 against Indianapolis.
However, SVSU came back with two wins to round out the weekend, topping McKendree 8-5 and Bellarmine 9-0.
Some of the top players returning this year are senior pitchers Sam Willman and Annie Hansen, junior first baseman Evy Lobdell, junior second baseman Meredith Roussse and two junior outfielders, Maddy Burgess and Danielle Hamilton.
Head coach Todd Buckingham has big expectations for the team this year.
“As far as early season expectations, our goal is to simply play one pitch at a time,” he said. “If we trust the effort we have put into all this practice, the winning will take care of itself.”
On Friday, the Cardinals opened their doubleheader taking on Truman State, ultimately falling short 12-4.
Truman State jumped out to a 5-0 after two innings, before SVSU added a run of their own in the bottom of the second on a solo home run by Meredith Rousse. The Cardinals added two more in the third on a home run by Evy Lobdell and one in the fourth when a Lauren Bachert double scored Becky Corbett. From there, Truman scored seven unanswered runs to take the win 12-4.
In the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, the Cards took on the Indianapolis Greyhounds. The team’s lone run came when Aubree Mouthaan flew out to right field, scoring Madison Burgess, as SVSU fell 7-1.
Saturday however, took a different turn for the ladies as they won both of their games against McKendree and Bellarmine.
Aubree Mouthaan and Courtney Reeves each homered for SVSU in an 8-5 win over McKendree. Mouthaan had three hits for the contest and Reeves added two.
The second game of the day against Bellarmine was a great game for the ladies, as they won 9-0. Annie Hansen had an outstanding game pitching, tossing a no hitter.
“It feels good to know that I have a defense that is so strong behind me,” Hansen said.
Rousse had three hits, Bachert had two hits, one a home run, and two RBI’s along with two runs scored. Lobdell had two RBI’s and added a hit and a run all to lead SVSU offensively.
SVSU fell in extra innings to Montevallo on Sunday, dropping the game 5-4. Despite the 2-3 start, Buckingham is still confident in what the team will accomplish this season.
“We have a squad with great talent, unbelievable work ethic, and a high level of mental toughness,” Buckingham said. “This could be a special year.”