Softball walks off against Saint Mary’s

Pitcher Casey Anderson caps off a dramatic final inning rally.


Cole Mayer

Junior pitcher Casey Anderson winds up for a pitch during the April 23 double header against Saint Mary’s.

Jake Kjos, Senior Reporter

Down 4-9 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Pipers needed a big rally to come back and keep their conference win streak alive. The game had not gone Hamline’s way from the beginning, as St. Mary’s jumped out to an early three run lead in the first game of the April 23 double-header.

The Pipers responded to the three run deficit with two runs of their own on an RBI single by first-year designated hitter Aubree Douglas and a sacrifice fly by sophomore catcher Abbie Annen.

Junior pitcher Casey Anderson described what it has been like pitching to Annen and Douglas in their first year with the team.

“They’re both very talented. They both work really hard. We get along as friends and teammates so it’s been a blast pitching to them,” Anderson said.

St. Mary’s responded in the fourth inning when a number of well-placed hits combined with errors from the Pipers allowed them to push the score to 2-7. Senior third baseman Kelsey McWilliams knocked a double over the right fielder’s head to score against Anderson in the bottom of the inning.

Senior centerfielder Amanda Orrell talked about what she does when the team is down.

“I try and help people stay as motivated as possible. I take them aside during games or practices if I see something. I try and lead by example,” Orrell said.

St. Mary’s added two more runs in the fifth to put them up six. Senior shortstop Jamie Rubbelke began the Pipers half of the inning with a triple. Rubbelke scored on a single by Orrell to put the score at 4-9 where it would stay until the seventh inning.

First-year right fielder Delaney Kohler began the seventh with a double and started what would turn out to be a hit parade. Rubbelke knocked Kohler in with a double of her own, and the top of the order continued to get hit after hit.

Douglas and Annen both hit RBI singles, and senior first baseman Chelsea Koehn hit a single to load the bases with the Pipers now down 8-9. Anderson stepped up to the plate and made contact with the hit that scored both Douglas and Annen for the walk-off game winner.

Anderson talked about this team’s ability to make plays when they matter most.

“For me this is probably the best hitting team I’ve been on. I think we’re definitely capable of more. We have put ourselves in a position to be in the playoffs,” she said.

After relieving junior pitcher Sarah DeMars in the first game of the double-header against St. Mary’s, Anderson started the second game and pitched five innings while only allowing one run.

Hamline rode the momentum of the rally in the previous game to score in each of the first three innings. Junior second baseman Mary-Clare Couillard, Orrell, and Douglas each went 3-4 in the game hitting second, third and fourth in the batting order respectively. Douglas hit clean-up and took advantage of her teammates’ ability to get on base and drove in three runs.

DeMars took over for Anderson in the sixth inning and earned the save as the Pipers went on to win 6-2.

Earlier in the week the Pipers split a doubleheader against St. Benedict on April 20. The team lost 1-3 in the first game, and Orrell talked about the loss.

“It was kind of a tough split. We just kind of fell flat the first game,” she said.

Orrell talked about what the coaches have been helping her with as she makes hitting adjustments throughout the season.

“Their biggest thing is keeping me from stepping out. Pitchers will pitch me outside because they see that step-out,” Orrell said.

The Pipers turned it around in the second game against St. Benedict, as Orrell went 2-4 and Annen and Anderson both hit home runs. The 9-0 win began the win streak that also included a sweep away at Macalester on April 22.

Hamline will play their last home games of the regular season against Augsburg at Meredith Field on April 30.