By Brian T. Chan, Sports Editor

Commanding in chief
The George Mason University softball team took advantage of two errors by scoring four runs in the first inning as the Patriots held on to win 6-3 over the George Washington Colonials on Wednesday at Mount Vernon Field in Washington, D.C.

The Patriots, winners of five of their past six games, improved to 13-17 on the season, while the Colonials, losers of 15 of their last 16, dropped to 5-26 overall. Mason matched a season-best six-game stretch where they won five games last month. The Patriots won on the road for the first time all season. Their last road win came last year against the same team.

Mason shot out of the gates with a leadoff double from sophomore second baseman Tori Dudley, and sophomore center fielder Alyssa See reached base on an error from Colonials junior third baseman Katie Terrazas, scoring Dudley on the play.

After sophomore shortstop Rachael Davies walked, Terrazas committed another error as sophomore first baseman Katie Rynex advanced to second base, leading Colonials Head Coach Kim Staehle to make the early switch, moving Terrazas to first base for freshman Tara Fogarty. The error allowed See to score from second base and Davies to move to third base.

Freshman third baseman Megan Blank, who had a hit in four of the last five games, knocked in two runs with a single.

Rynex extended Mason’s lead to 5-0 with an RBI double in the second inning; after a two-run fourth inning from the Colonials, Mason added one more run as junior catcher Kara Weiner reached base on a fielding error with two outs, scoring Rynex from third base.

George Washington scored a run in the sixth inning, but Patriots sophomore pitcher Miranda Cranford easily sat down three batters in the seventh inning to preserve the win for Mason.

Senior starting pitcher Becky Anderson earned the win for Mason, improving to 7-3 after tossing two innings and allowing just one hit. The relief pitchers struck out a total of eight batters, four apiece from Cranford and freshman pitcher Amanda Buffington.

Freshman starting pitcher Elaine Nescio was on the losing end after yielding five runs on three hits in two innings, but with the poor defensive support, Nescio allowed just one earned run. Nescio also struck out five batters, three of whom came from the first inning. Sophomore pitcher Heidi Penna pitched five solid innings as she struck out six while allowing two hits and one run.

For Mason, the offense managed only five hits, but the team was able to take advantage of the Colonials’ five errors. Rynex and Blank each had two RBIs, and the first four batters scored all of the team’s runs.

The two teams will face off again at the end of the month in Fairfax. The Patriots traveled to Philadelphia for a three-game set against the Drexel Dragons. Both teams are currently fighting for fourth in the CAA standings.

Mason’s effort falls short
The George Mason University women’s lacrosse team battled with the No. 16 Hofstra Pride for most of the game on Friday, cutting the Pride’s lead to one with over 12 minutes left in regulation. But the Pride prevailed in the end, winning 12-9 at George Mason Stadium.

The Patriots fell to 3-10 overall and remained winless at 0-3 while the Pride improved to 9-3 on the season with a 3-0 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. Mason lost for the sixth consecutive time, failing to record a win since March 24 when the team defeated the American Eagles in Washington, D.C. The Patriots have not won a home match since a 9-7 win against the George Washington Colonials on March 3.

The Pride never trailed in the game, but the Patriots kept the contest close throughout. Senior midfielder Corrine Gandolfi led off the game with two assists, giving the Pride the early 2-0 lead. Junior attacker Madalyn Jamison tallied Mason’s first goal at the 25:49 mark. After the teams traded goals, senior midfielder Liz Falco scored consecutively as Hofstra regained the momentum with a 5-2 lead.

Junior attacker Callie Hoyt closed the gap to 5-4 with two goals, but Gandolfi scored her third and fourth goals of the game, helping the Pride to a 7-4 halftime lead.

The second half was a hotly contested battle between the Patriots and the Pride as each team scored five goals in the remaining 30 minutes. Jamison’s goal with 12:39 left in the game put Mason within one goal again at 10-9. Scoring four of the five goals in a 10-minute span, Mason had the upper hand, but that was soon ended less than two minutes later as senior midfielder K’Leigh Vanaman registered a goal and added a late goal to seal the win for Hofstra.

Mason battled closely with the Pride, but was unable to go over the top, which would have been an impressive upset. Jamison led the Patriots with three goals and three assists, and Hoyt contributed two goals in the losing effort. Senior goalkeeper Sara Longobucco allowed 12 goals while saving 10 shots.

Gandolfi and Vanaman recorded three goals apiece, and Falco had a multi-goal game to lead the Pride to another win. Senior goalkeeper Mary Cuddihy earned the win after saving five shots and allowing eight goals.

The Patriots hosted the Drexel Dragons on Sunday at George Mason Stadium. The team has one home game remaining when they take on the Old Dominion Monarchs on Sunday at 1 p.m.