In a previous Muhlenberg weekly article: it’s been two months since Justine Bergara ‘25 set the goal of making it to the playoffs and “to make a run to prove to Gettysburg [College] and McDaniels [College] that this freshman class is different, this team is different, Gettysburg be talking smack.” On Apr. 24, the sturdy Mules got a chance to prove just that. In order to get the chance at the Centennial Conference Playoffs, and tie McDaniels for fourth, the Mules had to sweep the Bullets.

That Sunday was the second time this season that Mules had the opportunity to play at Cedar Creek Field. The weather was beautifully warm with a slight breeze. As the rays of sun pierced through the chain-link fence of the dugout and touched the Muhlenberg bats, the hearts and minds of the team seemed to warm with a feeling reminiscent to the beginning of the season—the same feeling as when they picked up a bat in the backyard 10 years ago. The weather and the feeling of competition had set the hearts of this team ablaze with the love of the game. The stage was set for what would later be described as “diesel” by announcer Max Weiner ‘22.

Thwap, Raya Kunes ‘24 threw the first pitch, and these two bitter rivals were playing ball. In the very first inning it was clear this game would go back and forth, until one defense made an error. Pitchers Page Forry of Gettysburg faced 24 batters and Kunes faced 27. Forry pitched two walks, Kunes pitched one. Forry pitched four strikeouts, Kunes three. The Mules fielded six ground outs and 11 fly outs, while the Bullets caught three and made the play for 10. 

This was the story of the first Mule versus Bullets game, five hits to six hits, or at least that was the story till the bottom of the sixth inning. There was one out and catcher Genna Cicchetti ‘22 was up to bat. Cicchetti, a leader for the team often seen screaming at her teammates halfway between home and the mound, was now standing in the box where she’s batted for an average of .300 in her three seasons at ‘Berg with a career high average of .340 so far this year. The pitch came a little slow for Cicchetti’s liking—guess that’s all Forry could give her—and crushed it to left field for a double. Then, infielder Kaitlyn Buurman ‘25 came up to bat, and the pitch came and went, but not before Cicchetti stole third. Buurman stepped out of the box quickly then took her two practice swings, evaluated the field, fixed her mask. Bang! The ball was flying to right field, where it was caught, but the sac fly Buurman had hit was far enough to bring in the winning run.

Buurman commented after the game that, “It’s always so exciting to be a part of something bigger than yourself. I’m glad I get to play my heart out with girls that have the same goals and mission that I do.” Buurman’s teammate and shortstop for the team, Kaya Mahy ‘25, echoed similar sentiments saying, “The energy we [had] as a whole team [was] unmatched and electric.”

But the Mules didn’t stop there, it was time for the second game of the double-header, and with the confidence from the first, the Mules star pitcher Cora Bridgers ‘22 ran onto the field. She continued to put on a show by setting a new career high of 12 strikeouts. 

Bridger’s performance was unmatched, but Gettysburg successfully took their first and only lead in the second. The Mules quickly stopped the bleeding, stranding two Bullets on base. The next few innings continued with this same back and forth between the two teams until the bottom of the fifth. The Mules were playing on two outs when Cicchetti got the bats going again. The Mules ended the inning with five hits and three runs. The next two innings the Mules did not allow a single hit and walked away from the field with a sweep.

The Bullets did not walk off the field with their heads held high. As they hung their heads, they began to type away on an anonymous platform called Yik Yak. Insults included, “Muhl softball is the least classy program in the centennial conference” and “Muhlenberg’s catcher eats tuna.” It was a true shame that Gettysburg couldn’t bring honor to their name as they descended into sixth. 


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