By Brian T. Chan, Sports Editor

The George Mason University softball team hosts their final home game of the season on Wednesday at 4 p.m. against the George Washington Colonials at the George Mason Softball Complex. Entering the weekend series against the Georgia State Panthers, the Patriots had a 15-20 record. The Colonials, on the other hand, were at 5-31 overall, losing six straight and 20 of their past 21 games.

The Patriots came into the season with a new outlook despite being picked to finish last in the Colonial Athletic Association. Finishing with a dismal 2-19 conference record last season, the team has exceeded that win total with a 4-8 record in the CAA this year, which included wins against the Towson Tigers and defending champions James Madison Dukes.

The team has a chance to wrap up their non-conference schedule at .500 on Wednesday against the Colonials. Leading the offense is sophomore shortstop Rachael Davies. Despite the recent drop-off, she remains an essential piece to the lineup. Searching for answers on offense, sophomore second baseman Tori Dudley and sophomore center fielder Alyssa See have come on as of late to raise their batting averages.

See, who was batting below the Mendoza Line earlier, raised her batting average to .243 entering the weekend series. She leads the team with 19 walks and a .423 on-base percentage. Dudley has also been on a tear with the bat. In the 11-3 loss to the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers on Wednesday, Dudley stole all three bases in the first inning alone and later added her sixth double of the season.

George Washington:
The Colonials kept close with the Georgetown Hoyas, a team that shut out the Patriots in their two meetings this year, in their 2-0 loss on Wednesday. Freshman pitcher Elaine Nescio tossed one of her better games in her rookie year, allowing just four hits and two runs in seven innings. Nescio still looks to win her first career collegiate game as she currently holds an 0-9 record.

The anemic offense is batting just .184 and has been outscored 229-44 this season. Regardless, the Colonials have hit more home runs than the Patriots, holding an 8-6 advantage in that department. Sophomore catcher/outfielder Lauren Wilson, the Arlington native, leads the Colonials with a .253 batting average, .330 on-base percentage, and six RBIs. She is one of three Colonials with two home runs.

The Colonials and Patriots met a couple weeks ago in Washington, D.C. with Mason coming out on top 6-3. The Patriots were able to hold on after scoring four runs in the first inning. The Colonials battled back in the latter innings, but fell short to lose their 26th game at the time. Nescio lasted just two innings after giving up five runs on three hits, but the team’s five errors cost her four unearned runs.

Sophomore Heidi Penna had an effective appearance out of the bullpen, going five innings and allowing just two hits and one run while striking out six batters.