TUCSON, Ariz. – The final day of the Tucson Invitational Games began like most days of competition for the Baldwin Wallace University softball team, however it would end in an emotional and unexpected way that nobody could have foreseen when the season began just a few weeks ago.
BW and the rest of the Ohio Athletic Conference announced on Thursday, March 12 that it was cancelling spring sport competition effective March 16 as a precautionary measure to combat the COVID-19 virus.
The Yellow Jackets, who were obviously shocked and heartbroken that their season was ending abruptly, went out in style as BW's five seniors in All-Ohio Athletic Conference pitcher Abby Cosart (Lima/Bath), All-OAC and Academic All-OAC second baseman Alex Kozich (Avon), All-OAC center fielder Macy Leach (Westerville/Central), catcher Talia Prignano (Avon Lake) and infielder Shelby Sprouse (Granville) started each game and had their choice of a position to play.
On the final day, the Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play Dickinson (Pa.) College and Buena Vista (Iowa) University but prior to the start of the day's first game BW was informed that Buena Vista was not allowed to play and were heading home. Instead of one game with Dickinson, who also was informed its second game opponent faced the same decision as Buena Vista, the two teams would play a doubleheader.
In game one, BW won by a final score of 9-1 in five innings. The Yellow Jackets scored nine runs on a season-best 11 hits as they plated one run in the first, four in the second, one in the third and three in the fourth. The Red Devils scored one run on three hits as they score their lone run in the first.
The BW offense was led by freshman right fielder Mary Nash (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) as she went 3-for-3 with two runs batted-in (RBIs) Kozich went 2-for-4 with a RBI, run scored and stolen base. Sophomore third baseman Kami Helm (Uniontown/Green) was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Four other Yellow Jacket hitters had a base knock. Leach and Prignano each had two RBIs on their base hits.
In the circle, Cosart picked up the victory as she allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Dickinson won the season finale by a final score of 4-2. BW scored two runs on seven hits as it plated one run in the fourth and fifth innings. The Red Devils scored four runs on six hits as they pushed two runs across the plate in the first and one in the third and fourth innings.The Yellow Jacket offense was led by Leach as she went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and a double. Four other BW hitters recorded a hit. Kozich provided the only other extra base knock with a double.
In the circle, sophomore right hander Hannah Welling (Ravenna) suffered the loss as she allowed two runs on two hits with a strikeout and two walks in two innings pitched. Freshman righty Emily Lesco (Wickliffe) pitched the next 1.2 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits. Sophomore All-OAC right hander Nikki Camarati (Brunswick/Holy Name) was up next as she allowed no runs on one hit with strikeouts in two innings. Freshman righty Sydni Uhlenberg (Allen Park, Mich.) pitched the season's final out as she allowed one walk in the two batters she faced.