They say that October is the most important month in Major League Baseball. Teams might drop a few here and there in the regular season, but if they catch fire at the right time before the post-season, those losses will be forgotten.
For the Titan softball team, May is their October.
After a 6-0 win against Anderson on Sunday, April 13, The Titans stand confidently at 22-5, having played solid ball all season. They have been powered by stand-out performances on the mound and important hits in big moments.
The Titans have not shied away from a challenge this season, instead reveling in moments of adversity.
On Wednesday, April 9, the Titans easily held off CCIW rival Carthage, winning two games at 4-2 and 6-2. Sophomore Jenna Noland struck out 10 on five hits in the first game and senior Molly McCready tossed a one-hitter in the second.
First-year Katie Caulfield noted, “After last year’s oh-so-pleasant run-in, the seniors had a bit of a backstory against Carthage. They were inspired to play twice as hard, and I think the score speaks for itself.”
Last year’s pleasant run-in refers to an incident in last year’s match-up where both teams left their benches after a disputable tag as a Titan player slid into home. Both teams were ordered back to their benches, and there’s been bad blood since.
Bouncing back from a disappointing performance has also become a part of this season’s Titan squad, as they have silenced questions with big wins in redemption games.
They did that again this past weekend, winning in a revenge match against Anderson, the team who had dropped the Titans in the first day of the IWU tournament. They finished the two-day stand at 3-1, notching two key shutouts on day two.
McCready earned another place in the Wesleyan record books, becoming the all-time shutout leader with 17. In 2012, she notched seven shutouts, but with a handful of games remaining, including dates with conference foes Augustana, Millikin and North Park, she has a chance to set the bar even higher.
Game like the day-one loss against Anderson and early-April games against Elmhurst and North Central are mere pebbles under the rolling tires of this Wesleyan team.
This team has risen to the occasion on multiple occasions this season, and the stakes haven’t been higher than in the fast-approaching offseason where teams decide who is ruler of the CCIW.