Despite their best efforts, the Panthers were unable to take a game in their home opener against Marian University, losing 2-1 and 7-0.
The PNC softball team put their best foot forward in game one of the double header out hitting the Knights but were unable to string the hits together to score runs. Senior Lindsay Gernenz led the team with two hits and the only Panther RBI of the game. Freshman Ashlee Keil kept the defense off balance with a hit to right and a hit to left. Juniors Jaci Williams, Megan Olson and Sandi Downs added singles to the outfield while Freshman Hillary Hoffman pushed one passed the infield for a single.
Junior, Jaci Williams led the defensive battle for PNC pitching five and a third innings, giving up two five hits, striking out five. Senior Karissa Inglis finished out the game throwing one and two thirds inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Game two saw the Panther bats go cold and the Knights' bats heat up. PNC was unable to match the strong defense of the Marian in game two getting only 4 hits in the game.
Defensively, PNC's game became a little shaky and the Panthers' youth began to show with four errors charged to the team. A bright light was the pitching efforts of Junior Amber Welsh which pitched two innings and allowed only one earned run. Inglis finished the game allowing only one run in five innings of work.
While the defeats are always difficult, Head Coach Jeff Boardman was very proud of his team and very optimistic about the future. "In previous years Marian would have beaten us easily. This year we were in both games. We continue to improve as a team and I am so proud of where we are considering where we started."
The Panthers move to 7-11 on the season. PNC will be back in action March 22nd when they travel to Winona Lake, Indiana to face Grace College at 2 p.m. central time.