The Doane softball team hit off its spring season with a trip to Portland, Texas for the SCS Invitational where it went 2-4 on the weekend.
The team won two games on Saturday against Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Langston University.
They lost two close matchups against nationally ranked teams; second-ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and 16th-ranked Columbia College.
The other losses came to Our Lady of the Lake University and Huston-Tillotson University.
“Our first game was the one to get out all of our pre-season jitters,” junior pitcher Josie Schnakenberg said. “With this being our first time of the season playing outside, there were definitely some crucial errors made defensively, but I know that they were good indications of what we need to focus on during practices to continue moving positively in a forward direction.
The Tiger’s first win of the season was against Oklahoma Panhandle State University Aggies, where they knocked off the Aggies 9-6.
Freshman Megan Elliott hit the Tiger’s first home run of the year with her 3-run shot in the 1st inning.
Later that afternoon the Tigers defeated the Langston University Lions 8-4.
Doane used a big third inning with the bats to lead 5-1 after being down since the first inning.
The Tigers added their final three runs in the 5th and 6th innings to lead 8-1.
The Lions would add three runs in the seventh inning but Doane would hold on for the win.
Elliott added another home run to her tally in this game.
Freshman Station Charters picked up her first collegiate win at the mound.
“A couple of wins felt great to earn with the competition we had played,” Schnakenberg said. “There’s still many things we need to improve on, but winning a few helped reassure our confidence and left us in high spirits.”
Along with the pair of victories, the Tigers had two near-upsets on the weekend.
On Friday, the match against second-ranked USAO ended in a 4-3 loss according to Doane Athletics.
The Tigers found themselves up 3-0 after single runs in the 3rd, 5th, and 6th innings.
However, the Drovers would answer back with a run in the bottom of the 6th and three more in the 7th to get the walk-off win.
Doane also tested 16th-ranked Columbia and took them to 12 innings before losing 11-10. The teams were tied 8-8 after seven innings. Even with the tie-break rule of placing a runner at second base to open the inning, both teams were shutout in the first three extra innings.
The Tigers would score in the top of the 11th but it would be answered by the Cougars in the bottom of the inning. Doane would again find itself in the lead at the top of the 12th, but Columbia scored twice in the bottom of the frame for the walk-off victory.
Schnakenberg said the two near upsets proved that the Tigers can play with the best in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“It’s very exciting to have this type of confidence so early in the season which will make the rest of our games worthwhile,” Schnakenberg said. “Conference this year will be a dog-fight, and if we can fix those little errors and continue to make the adjustments to play to our potential, there’s no doubt we won’t be a top-seeded team.”
The Tigers will look to see improvement when they return to action on Saturday at McPherson College in Kansas.