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IM Softball: Slivka’s deadly defense yields season’s first win

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Sophomore Nick Palumbo, far right, helped lift Slivka to an 11-0 win over DTD in Sunday's IM softball game. In addition to his focused play behind the plate, Palumbo hit home two runs in the bottom of the third inning with a triple.

Sophomore Nick Palumbo, far right, helped lift Slivka to an 11-0 win over DTD in Sunday's IM softball game. In addition to his focused play behind the plate, Palumbo hit home two runs in the bottom of the third inning with a triple.

Rohan Nadkarni/Daily Senior Staffer

Rohan Nadkarni/Daily Senior Staffer

Sophomore Nick Palumbo, far right, helped lift Slivka to an 11-0 win over DTD in Sunday's IM softball game. In addition to his focused play behind the plate, Palumbo hit home two runs in the bottom of the third inning with a triple.

Abbey Chase and Rohan Nadkarni

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Buoyed by dominant performances in the field and at the plate, Slivka Residential College of Science and Engineering shut out Delta Tau Delta in a four-inning slugfest Sunday afternoon, posting an 11-0 win.

Pitching for Slivka, senior Leah Isaman started slow, walking the first two Delt batters before finding her groove. But despite her early struggles, Isaman kept Delt at bay and escaped the first inning without surrendering a run.

“The big thing is I just try to mix it up,” Isaman said. “You don’t send them the same pitch twice. I have three different pitches I can throw, which all have slightly different spins, which is kind of unusual for IM softball.”

In the bottom of the first, Slivka made its move, taking a 3-0 lead to get its nose out in front first and capitalizing on Delt’s pitching struggles.

“The first pitcher didn’t really adjust at all,” Slivka catcher sophomore Nick Palumbo said. “All of his pitches were in the same six-inch zone. He was very consistent. When they brought the second guy in, he was putting it in the strike zone, and we started swinging.”

Strong defense through the second inning and in the top of the third stymied Delt’s attempts to bring home a run, and Slivka’s resilient offensive play soon followed. A 2-run double followed by a 2-run triple from Palumbo in the bottom of the third silenced the Delt defense, which finally stopped the bleeding with an athletic catch on a pop fly.

Another 2-run single in the final half-inning of the game contributed to Slivka’s continued success, and Palumbo and his teammates ran away with the 11-0 win in under an hour. After earning its first win of the season, Slivka will look to parlay its defensive tenacity and offensive dominance into next Sunday’s game against Maybe She Likes It.

“The defense was really important,” Isaman said. “In fast-pitch, you can strike a lot of people out, but in slow-pitch, you really have to work on getting ground balls, pop flies, that kind of thing.”

MVP

Palumbo made his comeback in Sunday’s game after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder in December. Appropriately donning his Slivka t-shirt, Palumbo made key offensive plays for his team, backed by an impressive performance behind the plate.

“This is my first real game back from my surgery so I was just really excited to play,” Palumbo said. “I wanted to hit the ball, and I was really excited to run around the bases. That’s my favorite part. I got to slide in, and I’ve got these kneepads on because I get bloody.”

X-factor

Both teams struggled on the mound, but once Isaman settled in during the second inning, Slivka had little trouble holding the lead. Steady defensive play in the field helped the Weinberg senior pitch a complete and scoreless game.

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