By Dan Hilton, Staff Writer
They say patience is a virtue. Looking at the schedule in the preseason, the Hofstra softball team knew that they would have a few tough tasks in its non-conference schedule. The beginning of the season was tough for the Pride, losing nine straight to start the year, but the first win was definitely worth the wait.
Down at the Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Florida last weekend, the Pride began with a 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh.
Junior Tessa Ziemba hit her second home run of the season in the loss.
Later that night, however, the Pride would earn its first win in emphatic fashion. Junior Olivia Galati took the mound against Virginia Tech and five innings later she would notch another no-hitter for her career that would tie her for third-most in program history with Kayleigh Lotti.
The no-hitter included seven strikeouts and just one walk in the complete game. The bats also came alive in the 10-0 win, as seven runs in the third helped give Galati more than enough room to operate.
Junior Becca Bigler hit her fourth home run of the season, to go along with three RBIs and two runs.
Head coach Bill Edwards thinks Galati is rounding back to last year's form.
"We need for her to be the dominant pitcher that we know she can be," Edwards said. "Against Virginia Tech, the way she threw the ball, and the way she handled a very good hitting Virginia Tech lineup, was very impressive."
However, Saturday would be another difficult day for the Pride, as it began the day with a 6-2 loss to N.C. State.
The two runs for the Pride came from junior outfielder Rachael Senatore, who smacked a two-run double to left-center that scored sophomore Tori Rocha and Jess Hirschbuhl.
In the second game of the day, Galati followed up her no-hitter performance with a 1-0 win over Ohio State. Becca Bigler scored the only run of the game off a Jess Hirschbuhl single.
On Sunday, the Pride fell short on another comeback attempt, falling to no. 14 UCLA 9-4 in the finale of the Citrus Classic. Senatore had the hot bat in the leadoff spot, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Pride is now 2-11 on the season. Hofstra will now have a little bit of a break as far as games, but Coach Edwards says that those first two wins need to lead to more.
"Getting that first win certainly takes some pressure off of you," Edwards said. "But at the same time we have to start stringing wins together and playing more consistently through the course of the season."