MILWAUKEE – The MSOE softball team enjoyed a true ace on its pitching staff last season as Shannon Curtis took the ball in a school-record 34 games and performed at an All-NACC First-Team level.
Then, she up and graduated.
Rather than lament the loss of a true #1 starter, head coach Kyle Knoblauch turned his focus to what he did have coming in. During the fall, he quickly found he had a pitcher that can take to the circle on a regular basis.
Enter freshman Lorrin Pondo.
In her first season, she's pitched in nine the team's 10 games. She's completed all five of her starts and came on in relief four times.
Pondo is not just an innings-eater, she's been dominant. She boasts with a 5-3 record and a save. Her ERA is a slight 1.62. In just her second collegiate start, she no-hit Houghton with 10 strikeouts in 7.0 innings. It was the first seven-inning no-hitter in team history. She then shut out Capital four days later for his first collegiate shutout.
The MSOE offense has been as advertised through 10 games, hitting .337 as a unit and averaging 5.1 runs per game. For a group that returned nearly intact from a 29-win campaign in 2017, having a pitching staff of Pondo and Liz Gale (2-0, 22K/3 BB over 22.2 IP) could give the program what it needs to keep moving forward and rising up the league standings.
Pondo's quality has been outstanding. The quantity has been equally impressive. Curtis' school-record workload last season came in a program-high 43 team games. Coach Knoblauch hopes that for Pondo to break that record the team will have to play a lot more than 43 games.
With the way the team has played already, that could be a possibility.
Around MSOE Athletics…
- Men's Volleyball went 1-2 against some stiff competition, falling to #4 Kean and #7 Benedictine in four games each. The Raiders rebounded to sweep past Nazareth with ease.
- Lacrosse fell in a tough 13-12 loss at Beloit Wednesday and came back to score a school-record 26 games for the second time this season in a 26-4 win over Fontbonne.
- Women's Tennis started the spring portion of its schedule Sunday with a loss at Illinois Tech.
Coming Up This Week...
- Men's Volleyball (11-5, 8-2 NACC / W1) has a pair of matches at Lakeland Wednesday and against Cardinal Stritch in the home finale Thursday.
- Women's Tennis (9-6 / L2) continues its march to the NACC Tournament with a home match against Cardinal Stritch Saturday.
- Track & Field opens the outdoor season at the Augustana Spring Opener Saturday.
- Lacrosse (5-1 / W1) plays at Olivet Saturday in a break from league play.
- Softball (7-3 / W1) is in Wisconsin for the first time this weekend, playing at Carthage Saturday and hosting Beloit Sunday.
- After games in Florida and at a dome football stadium, Baseball (7-4 / W2) returns to earth to step outdoors in the Midwest this weekend with road games at Illinois Tech and Beloit.
|Wednesday||Men's Volleyball||@ Lakeland*||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Thursday||Men's Volleyball||Cardinal Stritch||7:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Women's Tennis||Cardinal Stritch||10:00 AM|
|Saturday||Track & Field (M/W)||@ Augustana Spring Opener||12:00 PM|
|Saturday||Softball||@ Carthage||12:00 PM||Live Stats|
|Saturday||Baseball||@ Illinois Tech||12:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Softball||@ Carthage||2:00 PM||Live Stats|
|Saturday||Baseball||@ Illinois Tech||3:00 PM||Video | Live stats|
|Saturday||Lacrosse||@ Olivet||4:00 PM|
|Sunday||Softball||Beloit||12:00 PM||Audio | Live stats|
|Sunday||Baseball||@ Beloit||1:00 PM||Video|
|Sunday||Softball||Beloit||2:00 PM||Audio | Live stats|
|Sunday||Baseball||@ Beloit||3:30 PM||Video|
|* Conference Contest | Home Contests in BOLD|