Seton Hall women’s softball got off to a strong start on its season, sweeping its weekend slate at the Gardner Webb Tournament in Boiling Springs, N.C. from Feb. 18-19. The Pirates won all three games to give them a perfect 3-0 start. Seton Hall was fueled by its offense over its successful weekend, scoring double-digit runs in each game. [caption id="attachment_17735" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Junior Alex Walkden contributed five hits, eight RBI and two stolen bases over the three-game weekend. Photo via SHU Athletics[/caption] The Pirates averaged 14 runs per game over the series, scoring 11, 18 and 13, respectively, good for 42 runs total. They also drew the mercy rule on each opponent, with no game going longer than six innings. The main offensive juggernauts who sparked the Pirates’s offensive success were freshman infielder Darby Pandolfo and senior pitcher/utility Lauren Fischer. Pandolfo was named the Big East Player of the Week after starting all three games and batting .667 in the process, recording eight hits and driving in seven runs, while also notching six extra base hits and a home run. After recovering from an injury sidelining her for much of last season, Fischer started all three games for Seton Hall and delivered two home runs while batting .556 in that span. Fischer also had five hits and six RBI. The Pirates’ second game against Bucknell was their most successful game at the plate. Seton Hall scored 18 runs and matched that with their 18 hits, with Valerie Suto and Hailey Arteaga driving in four runs apiece, and Pandolfo leading the way for the Hall in its second game of the day with four hits. In total, the Pirates found themselves making the most of their opportunities at the plate, and it has shown in not just the starters, but also the rest of the roster. Every single player on head coach Paige Smith’s team appeared in a game over the weekend, and the team as a whole batted a combined .462, while in contrast, opponents batted an average of .288 against Seton Hall. The team drilled a total of five home runs, and made contact by racking up 43 total hits, 17 of them resulting in extra bases. Seton Hall had a scorching .796 slugging percentage and .536 on base percentage. The Pirates will continue to play several non-conference tournaments before gearing up for Big East play in late March. If they are able to use the confidence and approach they brought to the plate from this past weekend into this coming weekend’s five-game East Carolina Pirate Invitational in Greenville, N.C., then they will make a strong case to be a very potent team come conference play. While it is still only three games, the perfect sweep in convincing fashion has set the seas for the Pirates. Matt Lamb is a broadcasting and visual media major from Howell, N.J. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MattS_Lamb.
Seton Hall softball offense on fire in opening weekend