A baseball walk-off and football cancelled

All this and more in the CNU Athletics weekly roundup 

~Matthew Morhiser, Sports Editor~

With the start of Christopher Newport University (CNU) Women’s Tennis last week, all sports listed to resume play during the 2021 Spring Semester have done so. It feels kind of nice, right? It’s fantastic to see our Captains all back in action in their respective sporting genres, and this past week was jam-packed with a plethora of CNU athletic goodness. 

On Monday and Tuesday of last week, the CNU Men’s and Women’s golf teams took center stage. Both squads journeyed to Savannah, Ga to take part in the shockingly titled Savannah Invitational. The men finished ninth out of 16 universities, and sophomore Alex Price was the Captains’ top male performer on the two-day event with an even par after 54 holes. The women fared slightly better in the “Peach State,” as the team finished in the middle of their pack; third out of six. CNU’s five female golfers, juniors Cameron Cook, Katie Thome and Erica Whitehouse, sophomore Shreya Ganta and freshman Lauren Sims, each notched a spot in the event’s top 25 player leaderboard. CNU’s men and women will hit the green again starting Mar. 19 for the Jekyll Island Intercollegiate. 

Also on Tuesday was CNU Baseball’s third home game of the season. In a one-off against Hampden-Sydney College, the Captains came-back to defeat the Tigers 6-5. In the bottom of the tenth inning, trailing 5-3, senior Eric O’Brien singled towards center field. O’Brien’s hit scored senior Conner Clark and reduced the lead to one. In the next at bat, freshman Scott Crosson reached first base off an error, and this scored sophomore Jonathan Fisher and advanced O’Brien to third. With the game tied and one out remaining, freshman Daniel Elliott singled to left field for a walk off hit that scored O’Brien. Freshman pitcher Matt Gaither improved to 2-0 on the season, and junior outfielder Michael Martorano was the lone Captain to homer. On Wednesday, the Captains continued their winning ways against Bridgewater College. However, their streak ended at four when No. 24 ranked North Carolina Wesleyan downed the Captains 6-3. Sophomore Kyle Schofield connected on his first home run of the season in the sixth inning to cut into the Bishops’ 6-0 lead, but CNU couldn’t manage to cross home plate again. The team’s woes continued with a 9-6 loss to No. 11 Randolph-Macon. Their next game will be Mar. 16 against Methodist. 

Beginning slightly later than Baseball was No. 4 ranked CNU Softball. In a doubleheader against Averett University, the Captains captured both contests by scores of 5-4 and 5-2. The name of the game in the second contest was pitching, as sophomore Gracie Vallejos struck-out 11 batters. This was the second time on the season the 5-1 Vallejos hit the double-digit mark in strikeouts. On Wednesday, the Captains expanded their win streak to six with two wins over North Carolina Wesleyan College. They rounded out the week with two doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday respectively. On Saturday, the Captains overcame the undefeated Emory & Henry in the first contest, but lost to Transylvania University in the second. Sophomore pitcher Gracie Vallejos struck out 10 batters and allowed only one hit in the first matchup of the day. On Sunday, the Captains flipped their results from the previous doubleheader, as they defeated Transylvania, but lost to Emory & Henry. Heading into the weekend, the Captains were ranked No. 4, so where will their 2-2 record from the weekend doubleheaders put them at now? Their next game is Mar. 17 against Virginia Wesleyan. 

Midway through the week, CNU Women’s Lacrosse stormed the field for their third game of the season. Squaring-off with Virginia Wesleyan University, the Captains commandingly improved to 2-1. When the final horn sounded, CNU accomplished a 23-1 victory. Sophomore Kelsey Winters scored 11 points. That tied the sophomore with the third-most points in a single game in CNU history. Heading into the contest, Winters already held the season-high total in shots with 11, so No. 9’s performance now solidly puts her in the lead with 22. On Saturday, the Captains fell to No. 4 ranked Washington & Lee. With a .500 record of 2-2, the Captains will next play Tuesday, Mar. 16 versus Randolph-Macon. 

On Thursday, Mar. 11, CNU Women’s Basketball competed in their final exhibition contest of the year. In the season finale, the Captains were bested by Shepherd University by a final score of 83-72. The team’s seven game winning streak may have been snapped, but senior Jasmine Norman went out on a season-high 12 points. 

On Friday, CNU’s Director of Athletics Kyle McMullin announced Captains Football’s planned game on Saturday was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. The team was scheduled to square-off with William Paterson University (WPU) in the first of four spring contests. As of now, no plans have been made on the rescheduling of the game against WPU, but the Captains would-be second game against Salisbury is still on tap for Sunday, Mar. 21. 

Kicking-off the weekend, CNU Men’s Tennis also clashed with St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Against the Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Conference foe, the Captains swept the Seahawks 9-0. CNU only lost a total of 10 games in the match. Later in the day, the Captains won another match, but this time against Averett University. The Cougars fared slightly better versus CNU, but they ultimately fell 8-1. The team will see their next action on Friday, Mar. 19 against North Carolina Wesleyan. 

Saturday night, CNU Men’s Lacrosse traveled to Washington College in Md. The No. 11 ranked Captains kept their undefeated season alive, as they outscored their foes 18-4. Junior Brady Altobello led the way with four goals, and sophomore goalkeeper Zac Hanway allowed only one goal in 30 minutes of playing time. 

Additionally, Men’s and Women’s Track & Field competed at the Salisbury Invitational. The Men placed sixth, and the women finished in seventh. Junior Kaitlyn Ardrey highlighted the day with a 5000 meter timed at 17:56:04. That clocks Ardrey in as the second fastest run in school history. 

All statistics, dates and information retrieved from: 

Christopher Newport University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (cnusports.com)

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