Romualdo is on fire at the plate
It seems like every time Kristina Romualdo enters the batter’s box for the Highland Cavalier Softball team, she has the potential to generate an offensive storm.
In her junior season, Romualdo is hitting .375 with nine home runs this season, both career-highs.
Her nine home runs places her within striking distance of the single-season record set by Britney Lawson, who hit 11 homers in 2008.
Romualdo’s 44 RBIs is good enough for third best in a single season, which places her behind alumna player and current softball Assistant Coach Shelly Newton, who tallied 61 in 2007.
Her RBI total is conference leading amongst her peers in the Mid-South.
Clearly a power hitter and boasting the third-best slugging percent in school history (.541), Romualdo still remains humble.
“Some of the balls I’ve hit over I didn’t even realized they went over,” Romualdo said.
On March 18, the Virginia Beach, Va., native earned Mid-South Conference Softball Player of the Week, after she went 10-for-20 from the plate (.500), producing four home runs and 10 RBIs.
This marked the second time that Romualdo grabbed Player of the Week honors, the other coming on Feb. 27 of last season.
Even at a young age, when she tried out for the Virginia Lady Eagles, Romualdo has been known for the way she hits the softball, drawing comparison to Olympic gold medalist Crystl Bustos. The comparison to Bustos earned her the nickname Buka.
“This girl saw me hit at my first try out and said ‘you hit like Crystl Bustos,’” Romualdo said. “They said I was girlier, so they added chica and Bustos together.”
Romualdo will look to add to her season total when the Cavs play host to Shawnee State this afternoon.
Cavs looking to pick back up where they left off in Mid-South
The Highland Cavalier softball team has fallen on tough times, falling below the .500 mark for the first time with a 17-18 (7-9 MSC) record late in the season.
March 30 saw the Cavs drop both games of a doubleheader against regional rival King College at home.
Game one saw the visiting Tornadoes best UVa-Wise 8-3 on the wings of a complete game from starting Tornadoes pitcher Hannah Light. The Cavs struggled to solve Light, striking out seven times.
Freshman Rachel Fischer was the only source of offense for UVa-Wise, driving in three runs, with two coming on a home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the second game, UVa-Wise found an offensive stride, with home runs from junior Charity Lawson, junior Kristina Romualdo, senior Kirsten Velazquez and freshman Carrie Williams.
Along with her homer, Lawson brought in four runs. The hit parade was not enough, and King College edged out the Cavs 11-9.
The Cavaliers played host to future Mountain East Conference rival Concord University on April 1. UVa-Wise swept the doubleheader against the NCAA Division II member.
In game one, the Cavs jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the first three innings, and held on for the 8-6 victory.
Junior pitcher Rachel Hawks won her ninth game of the season, while sophomore Lannie Johnston earned her first save of the season. Romualdo and Velazquez homered en route to the victory.
In the finale, freshman Mindy Combs was perfect from the plate with a 4-4 day, where she batted in four runs in addition to stealing a bag.
Junior Sarah Wiltshire scored two runs along with three hits and three stolen bases.
Freshman Kellie Waycaster chalked up her sixth win, and Johnston earned her second save on the day as the Cavs won 11-9.
On April 2, UVa-Wise returned to conference when they visited the University of Rio Grande.
The Cavs fell in 4-3, but bounced back in the second game 10-7. The second game saw Romualdo belt her ninth home run of the season.
Senior Day on April 6 saw UVa-Wise drop both games of the doubleheader to Georgetown College 3-2, 9-3.
Lawson was responsible for most of the offense, as she brought home four of the five runs scored on the day.
The next day proved to be just as trying as the Cavaliers traveled to Shawnee State University for another pivotal conference match, dropping both games again.
In game one, the Cavs saw Velazquez hit her fourth homer of the season.
It also saw the Cavs blow a golden opportunity to protect a one-run lead in the home half of the seventh, and gave up a two-run homer run to fall 6-5.
In game two the team could not generate much offense, falling 6-1.
The Highland Cavaliers return to action today, in a rematch with Shawnee State inside Cavalier Field.