Winning streak ends

Hamline’s first-place softball team’s 11-game winning streak is snapped.


Cole Mayer

Sophomore pitcher Casey Anderson has had a break out year on the mound for the Pipers this season.

Paul Patane, Senior Reporter

After the Pipers defeated conference rival St. Thomas for the first time in softball on April 2, Hamline went on a historic winning streak, tallying 11 victories in a row before losing to St. Mary’s on Saturday, April 18.

Hamline split their doubleheader against St. Mary’s this past Saturday. They lost the first game 1-2, and won the second match, 13-5. With the regular season winding down, the team’s record now stands at 23-7 (16-2 MIAC), good for first place in the conference.

Game one was a pitcher’s duel, but sophomore pitcher Sarah DeMars came out on the losing end. She threw the entire game, surrendering five hits and two runs, both earned. The loss dropped her season record to 10-4.

The second game went quite differently from the first one, featuring an explosion of offense. Junior first baseman Chelsea Koehn ripped a grand slam to blow the game open in the sixth inning. Junior leadoff hitter and shortstop Jamie Rubbelke had four hits and scored three runs. Junior centerfielder Amanda Orrell and sophomore second baseman Mary-Clare Couillard had three hits apiece.

Hamline’s ace, sophomore pitcher Casey Anderson, started the second part of the doubleheader but was off her game. She gave up seven hits and five runs in three and two thirds innings pitched. DeMars came in and finished the game, improving her record to 11-4.

The Pipers are unique in that they’re a very small team this season. There are only 13 players on the roster and only two of them are pitchers. Much of the team’s success this season has been due to the strength of Anderson and DeMars as a pitching tandem. They rarely struggle and are prone to pick each other up when one has a rough outing.

Anderson said DeMars is a good teammate and a solid pitcher.

“We’re doing a good job of keeping the workload equal,” Anderson said. “We’re doing a good job at balancing each other out.”

Rubbelke noted how Anderson and DeMars assist each other.

“When one isn’t doing as well, they pick each other up,” Rubbelke said.

So far this season, Anderson has already pitched over 115 innings and DeMars has passed the 86 innings mark. Both pitchers have been superb overall this season, featuring earned run averages of 2.18 and 3.23, respectively. On April 13, Anderson was named the MIAC Softball Pitcher-of-the-Week after going 4-0 with a 1.56 earned run average over a five game stretch.

With only 13 players on the team, chemistry and good health has been invaluable as well.

“We do bonfires, hang out and do homework together,” Anderson said. “We’re kind of really clicking right now. We’re just so close.”

Orrell suggested team chemistry has helped the Pipers stay in games they’ve fallen behind in.

“I think our team is working really well together. Even when we’re down, we find a way to come back,” Orrell said.

Orrell also articulated that each player on the team contributes on a regular basis.

“I don’t know anybody who stands out more than anybody else,” Orrell said.

Coming off an 11-game winning streak and with solid control of the conference, the Pipers are confident they’ll remain productive.

“I don’t think we’ve played our best game yet,” Anderson said. “We’ve got a great group of girls.”

Orrell, a transfer student and second team All American from Dakota County Technical College, has helped provide offense and stability for the team. She’s batting .429, which is second best on the team, and has committed only one error in the field.

Rubbelke said her new teammate has made a quick impact for the team.

“Amanda, our centerfielder, has really taken in the culture of our team and has been a good leader for us,” Rubbelke said.

First place Hamline controls their destiny to win the MIAC. They play a doubleheader against second place Bethel today, Wednesday, Aprill 22, at Meredith Field. The Pipers are currently ranked sixth in the Midwest region for Division III softball.