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Things can only get better for the Evanston softball squad.

The Wildkits made their 2022 debut Saturday and dropped a doubleheader by scores of 11-0 and 13-0 at Loyola Academy. Both games only lasted 4½ innings due to the slaughter rule.

The Ramblers pounded out a total of 29 hits in the sweep against Wildkit pitchers Lexie Lennon and Maya Nelson, who are trying to fill a void created when the team’s expected ace, Serafina Goodwill, was sidelined for the season with knee surgery.

“I actually thought Maya did a good job of hitting her spots with her pitches in the second game,” said Evanston head coach Amy Gonzales. “We definitely have to hit better and we have to make more plays, especially in the outfield. We had some errors and we gave up too many extra bases today.”

Nelson was one of three freshmen who earned starting roles for the season opener. Shortstop Delilah Liston was 2-for-5 at the plate with a single and a double, Aayna Ghose was 0-for-4, and Nelson was also 0-for-4 at the plate while absorbing the pitching loss in game 2.

Liston accounted for half of Evanston’s offense in the game 1 loss against Loyola right-hander Mercedes Delgado, who struck out eight. Frances Heldt singled in the second and Katy Patton singled in the third for Evanston’s other hits.

The Ramblers scored four runs in the first, one in the second, five in the third and one more in the fourth to pin the loss on pitcher Lennon. Mackenzie Barry drove in four runs for the Ramblers with a single, double and infield out.

In the nightcap, Loyola’s Emilia Bartholomew cracked a two-run home run off Nelson in the second as part of a five RBI game.

The Wildkits resume action Tuesday at Maine West.

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