PREVIEW: Colonials look to conquer Vikings in Horizon League matchup

The+Colonials+look+to+breakeven+at+.500+with+a+series+win+against+Cleveland+State.+Photo+Credit%3A+Tyler+Gallo

The Colonials look to breakeven at .500 with a series win against Cleveland State. Photo Credit: Tyler Gallo

By Colby Sherwin, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– The RMU softball team (8-8, 3-5 Horizon) hopes to go over .500 for the first time since March 12 hosting 8-12 Cleveland State (8-12, 3-5) for a doubleheader on Tuesday.

The Vikings are looking to get back on track after dropping two out of three against IUPUI. The last time these two teams met was in 2019 when they split a two-game series in Moon.

Recapping RMU

The Colonials have hit a bit of a skid as they just got off a three-game losing streak, with the worst of it being a 13-0 shellacking at the hands of Green Bay in Saturday’s first game. As is the case with most .500 teams, consistency has been the biggest issue for RMU. RMU defeated the Phoenix 6-5 in the last game of the series.

In some games, Colonial pitching looks untouchable, while other times, they struggle to keep runs off the board, and you can see similar inconsistency on the offensive side. The Colonials are looking to make an impact in the Horizon League as they are going to have to figure out an identity.

Scouting CSU

If consistency is an issue for the Colonials, the same can be said for the Vikings. They come into this one 8-12. They also have trouble keeping runs off the board as well, as the last time CSU was in action, they lost 8-1 to IUPUI. as they never have really got it going. The longest winning streak for CSU is a two-game one at the very beginning of the season. This game could be a turning point for both teams as they both look to turn their seasons around.

Players to Watch

Natalie Higgins (RMU) – Higgins has had a really good season so far. She leads the Colonials in batting average, hitting a scorching .400, and has driven in 21 runs. She is going to have to continue with her hot start if the Colonials will win this one.

Dana Vatakis (RMU) – Vatakis has been the best pitcher for RMU in the nine games she has appeared in. She has had the lowest ERA with 3.11, and in the Detroit Mercy series, went toe-for-toe with one of the best pitchers in the Horizon League in Liz Murphy. If the Colonials are looking to get back in the win column, she will be a big part of it.

Sydney Bajusz (CSU) – Bajusz has been off to a great start with a .343 batting average. That has been another bright spot for the Vikings. If Bajusz continues her good season, CSU could have a chance to turn this around.

Kiera Frascone (CSU) – Frascone has given CSU nice speed on the bases for the Vikings. She leads the team in stolen bases with eight. If she gets on base, don’t be surprised to see her steal a few for CSU.

Prediction

I feel the Colonials are too much for CSU in the first game, but the offense will fall asleep in the second game. They will take the first game in extras 5-4, and CSU will take a pitchers’ duel 1-0 victory in game two, giving the Colonials a 9-9 record.