Softball Closes Historic Season at NISC
LYNCHBURG, Va. - GW softball had its historic spring come to a close Friday night with a 3-1 loss to Marshall at the National Invitational Softball Championship Liberty Regional.
The Colonials extended their first-ever postseason run earlier Friday with a 2-1 win over Appalachian State, but they were stopped in the nightcap by the Thundering Herd, who came from behind with three two-out runs in the top of the sixth.
With a 2-2 showing over two days at Liberty Softball Stadium, GW wrapped a remarkable season at 44-18, highlighted by earning a share of its first Atlantic 10 title.
In its season finale, the Colonials took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on Sidney Bloomfield's two-out bunt single, which brought home pinch runner Criza Bulanadi.
All A-10 First Team pitcher Sierra Lange carried that lead into the sixth with another strong effort, but Marshall jumped in front with three straight two-out extra-base hits, going in front on a two-run home run by Hayden Ellis.
Lange, who started all four GW games at the Liberty Regional, wrapped up the week with a 2.37 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings.
Bloomfield led the offense against Marshall's Kailee Williamson with a pair of hits, closing the regional with a team-high .429 batting average.
Lange, Bloomfield and Elena Shelepak (team-high 3 RBIs) were named to the All-Liberty Regional Team for their play over the four games.
Friday's defeat capped a memorable run for the Buff and Blue in their first season under head coach Shane Winkler. Behind a nationally-ranked offense, the Colonials rewrote their program record book on the way to their first conference crown.
A-10 Player of the Year Jenna Cone and Lange led GW's push for history throughout the regular season, at last week's A-10 Championship and into the postseason.
Cone tied the A-10 record with 20 home runs and set a GW mark with 67 RBIs, while Lange shined in the circle with 31 victories and 245 strikeouts, in addition to recording an A-10 best .411 batting average (85-for-207).
GW graduates four seniors but the bulk of the Colonials' lineup is slated to return next season, headlined by Cone, Lange and fellow All A-10 honorees Jessica Linquist and Alessandra Ponce.