Maroons Aim to Fly High

The University of Chicago’s softball team gears up to take on North Central and Naperville in doubleheader matchups over the weekend.

By Natalie Demuro

The University of Chicago softball team looks to improve its 13–8 season record when it takes on North Central College this weekend and Hope College on Monday in doubleheader matchups. The Maroons will travel to Naperville for games against the Cardinals on Saturday before heading to Holland, MI to face off with the Flying Dutch. Since 2006, North Central has won nine out of the last 13 games with the Maroons, including four out of the last six. UChicago has historically performed well against Hope, having won 13 of the last 17 games played. 

After going 9–4 in March, the Maroons got off to a rocky start this April, dropping three out of their first four games. The squad rallied back last weekend against Wash U with a 3–1 record over a four-game series, including a 4–0 shutout in the final game. Third-year Molly Moran was selected as UAA Pitcher of the Week on Monday after tallying one save and one win against Wash U. Over 12 innings pitched, she struck out 12 batters and did not allow any earned runs. 

The Cardinals have dropped five straight games, including a recent 8–11 loss at Concordia University Chicago on Tuesday. Their even 12–12 record features impressive victories over No. 23 Illinois Wesleyan University. The Cardinals took home matching 6–3 wins against the Titans in a doubleheader earlier this month. The Maroons played Illinois Wesleyan just three days prior, but fell in close contests, 3–2 and 5–3. 

In last year’s doubleheader, the Cardinals and Maroons each took home a win and a loss. In the first game, UChicago faced a 5–0 deficit in the bottom of the sixth, but an offensive outburst sent the teams into extra innings. The Maroons were ultimately defeated after the Cardinals hit a grand slam in the eighth. UChicago rallied back for the second game, outscoring North Central 2–1.

Hope’s six game win streak has improved its season record to 16–6. The Maroons and the Flying Dutch have faced five mutual opponents and have come away with similar outcomes. Both squads defeated North Park University and Fontbonne University, but fell to Wisconsin–Oshkosh and Tufts University. The teams split results against No. 9 Wisconsin–Eau Claire, as Hope came away with a 3–2 victory, while UChicago lost 3–1.

UChicago shut out Hope in both matchups last season, tallying 1–0 and 5–0 victories. The Maroons recorded a no-hitter in the first game and allowed five hits in the second.

Second-year do-everything player Carly Schulz said, “We’ve been working a lot on solidifying our defense and minimizing errors, alongside executing offensively in games—if we can hit consistently and aggressively throughout our lineup and score runners early, we should do very well in our upcoming games.”