Junior pitcher Jesse DeDomenico stands on the mound during a game last year. DeDomenico threw a rare no-hitter in Rowan's 1-0 loss to Randolph-Macon College on Friday. Multimedia Editor/Miguel Martinez

Between bad weather and rocky play, it’s been quite the start for the Rowan softball team, who has lost three of its first five games for the first time since 2016.

This past weekend, the Profs went 1-2 and dropped their game against Randolph-Macon College on Friday in rare fashion.

Junior pitcher Jesse DeDomenico threw a no-hitter.

And lost.

After reaching on an error at shortstop, Yellow Jackets senior Savannah Wood moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, Wood then advanced to third on a DeDomenico wild pitch. Maddie Stone grounded out to second, bringing Wood across the plate for an unearned run and the only run of the game.

DeDomenico, who went 23-9 last season with a sub-2.00 ERA, starts this season 0-3 after Rowan’s most recent 5-3 loss against North Carolina Wesleyan College on Saturday. Even with the bad start on-paper, DeDomenico isn’t fazed.

“[It’s] not something I’m happy about, but it is a motivating factor for me and the team,” DeDomenico said. “We have some pressure from last year’s great season. We need to just bare down and play the game how we know how…. We just need to get back into the groove of the game.”

“I think she had a really good outing, obviously threw a no-hitter and lost,” head coach Kim Wilson said. “It’s not like she pitched poorly. Some days the ball bounces the way you want it to go, and some days it doesn’t. I’m not worried about her. It’s not a sprint, it’s a long-distance run for us. In the end, she’ll be fine.”

The team did pick up a win against William Peace University. Sophomore Kelly Duffy had a productive afternoon recording two hits, a run and an RBI in the 5-3 win. Freshman Morgan Zane also had her hand prints on the game with two hits and two RBI’s. But they ran into trouble in the final inning, giving up a three-run home run to bring the Pacers within two. William Peace then singled, but then struck out to end the game.

This up and down can be expected for a team that has been limited to practicing for a total of one hour this year.

“There’s some firsts going on right now,” Wilson said. “We got onto the dirt for the first time an hour before our first game this year. Other than that one hour on dirt, we’ve played nothing but games. We have not been on our field.”

Fortunately for the Profs, their next stretch of games will be in Florida, where they will partake in the Spring Games from March 15-22. Last year, the Brown and Gold went 10-2, closing the trip out with a seven-game winning streak.

“It’s a really fun time for us,” DeDomenico said. “We play a lot of good teams, so it will be great competition for us. It’s a big opportunity to break out into the team we want to be.”

The competition in Florida will be heavy, as a rematch of last year’s
NCAA Championship Tournament game between Rowan and Illinois Wesleyan College is set for March 16.

“It’s not like Florida is a cake walk for us,” Wilson said. “I’d be happy if we came back 10-2. I think we really have to play sound defense, get good pitching and get better hitting than we’ve been getting… The positive thing about being down there is that most of the teams we’re playing haven’t gotten a lot of games in either.”

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