Before Tuesday night’s softball action, the Richmond Lions were the only undefeated team left in the men’s residential division. A win for the Lions on Tuesday would move them one step closer to clinching the No. 1 seed.
With a record of 2-2, the White Sharks needed a win to stay ahead of the cluster of teams in the fight for those last few precious playoff spots. With Richmond on the brink of clinching the top spot, every mens’ residential team needed the Sharks to pull off the upset, including the Clark team who came over to watch the game and cheer on the Sharks.
With an enthusiastic crowd in the stands, the Lions started off strong by loading the bases in the bottom of the first. Dakota Travis drove a three RBI triple to left field, giving Richmond a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
However, White came back in the top of the second with a two-RBI double by Ryan Oldham. After two innings the Sharks were within one run.
In the bottom of the third, the Richmond bats began to wake up. D.J. Ziegelmeyer smashed a solo homerun over the left center fence. The Lions continued hitting in the fourth piling on four more runs and amassing a 9-2 lead.
White would not go down easily though. Needing a rally, the Sharks came out in the top of the fifth and put a few men on base. An RBI triple made it 9-3. Then, with a man on second, Adam Urrhan hit a double, scoring one run. A wild throw into the outfield allowed Urrhan to come all the way around, completing the two RBI inside the park homerun. White pulled the score back to 9-5 and that was as close as they would get.
Richmond sealed the deal by scoring three more insurance runs in the fifth and White went down without another run. Richmond defeated White 12-5.
D.J. Ziegelmeyer had his best night of the season going 4-4 with a single, double and homerun, driving in four runs. He talked about his night at the plate.
“It felt really good tonight,” Ziegelmeyer said. “Definitely the best I’ve hit all season. Almost hit for a cycle I think.”
Richmond team captain Joey Penn said his team performed at its best all season.
“A win is always good and this was the best we’ve hit all season,” Penn said. “I felt really good about it. The defense of course was good, we have an exceptional defense; it’s outstanding every game. But tonight the bats came out and we hit really well and any time we can get a win is nice.”
The team hit more runs Tuesday night than any other game this season and Penn said he was satisfied with his offense.
“I hate to be this superstitious, but I actually changed the lineup, from the same one we’ve had all year, and I just put people in different slots and it clicked,” he said.
Richmond is now gearing up to finish the regular season and head into the playoffs, and Ziegelmeyer said he has high hopes for the post season.
“Hopefully we roll through the playoffs,” he said. “Were a tough team; we don’t score a whole lot of runs, but tonight was the exception, and it was fun to get a big win tonight.”
Also excited about the post season, Penn said he is excited about the upcoming games, including the challenges that await his team.
“Our biggest challenge is just continuing hitting like we did tonight,” he said. “If we can bring the bats every game and hit this well, I think we’ll be ok,” Penn said. “I’m really looking forward to playing teams other than residential colleges; That’s really fun having different competition and atmosphere.”
Richmond will look to continue riding their great defense through the playoffs, Penn said. Tuesday’s game showed this team has the offense to succeed too, Penn said.
The Richmond Lions need to win one of their two remaining games to lock up the No. 1 seed in the post season.