Caleb Pollema— Staff Writer
As the calendar turns to April and temperatures continue to rise, the Dordt softball team finds themselves near the middle of their GPAC conference schedule.
For the first week of April, the Defenders had four games, all on the road. Dordt headed to Northwestern for a doubleheader on Tuesday and followed with a doubleheader at Jamestown on Wednesday.
As Dordt headed to Orange City, they would be up against a Red Raider team that entered the series with a 17-7 record overall and a 4-2 record in conference play.
In the first game, Northwestern would get out to a quick 3-0 lead after two innings of play. The Defenders would respond with two runs in the top of the 6th inning to cut the lead to one on a single by Hailey Heeringa and a pinch-hit single by Erin Bredemus.
“It felt great to be able to come into the game and help my team have a chance in the game,” Bredemus, a junior infielder, said. “It’s super encouraging to come back into the dugout and my team to be so cheerful and motivated by my hit.”
Despite the two runs scored by Dordt in the top half of the inning, the Red Raiders would add an insurance run in the bottom of the 6th inning to push the score to 4-2.
The Defenders would not be able to muster any offense in the top of the 7th inning and would fall in game one.
Dordt pitcher, sophomore Abby Kraemer, would record the loss in the game after allowing four runs on six hits. Kraemer posted seven strikeouts and four walks.
Entering the second game, Dordt would look to get the offense going after a tough first game. Brooklyn Van Oort provided a spark for the Defenders with a two-run home run in the top of the 3rd inning to give Dordt a 2-0 lead.
This would be all the offense that the Defenders would need with senior Rachel Evavold in the circle. Evavold would allow no runs on five hits through seven innings of work with five strikeouts and three walks.
With the split in the doubleheader, the Defenders would have a quick turnaround as they headed to Jamestown for a doubleheader on Wednesday. The six-hour drive to Jamestown, North Dakota, following a late night is tough for any team.
“Personally, it is a tough turn around,” Kraemer said. “It was good to win game two against Northwestern. It had us going into the next day with a more positive mindset. Ultimately as softball players we need to have a short memory. You have to do with such a quick turn around.”
The first game against the Jimmies would prove to be a tough one for the Defenders. Jamestown would rule the Defenders with mercy in five innings and take the win by a final of 12-2. Dordt would give up twelve runs on thirteen hits and struggled to get much going offensively.
Headed into the second game, the Defenders offense would get going early with a two-run first inning. The Jimmies would respond with one run in the bottom of the 1st and 2nd innings to tie the game at two headed into the third inning. The back-and-forth scoring would continue for the rest of the game.
With a one-run lead headed into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Defenders would allow four runs that gave the Jimmies an 8-5 lead. Dordt could not muster enough offense the rest of the game and would fall by a final of 8-6.
The loss would drop the Defenders to eighth place in conference play with a 4-6 record in the GPAC and a 15-17 record overall.
Dordt will return home with a doubleheader starting at 4pm on April 16 against the Hastings Broncos. The Defenders will continue the home stand on at 1and 4pm on April 17 with two games against Doane.