Members of the softball team said they did not start the season how they had wanted. In 16 games, the Owls mustered only four tournament wins in Florida. With their first regular season game looming, the Owls are looking to improve on their 4-12 record.
Coach Casey Dickson said the preseason has been trying for the team, yet she is confident that better outings will come during the regular season.
“We’re getting better. We’re having less errors and fewer walks by our pitchers. We’re not missing signals as much,” Dickson said. “Everything is actually improving from that standpoint, just not in the win or loss category.”
Inconsistency was the driving force behind the team’s losing record, senior infielder Lauren Evans said.
“Batting, [and] pitching. We need to focus on all aspects of the game and just getting consistent,” Evans said. “It takes time for everyone to get used to playing together. … We’re just taking it one step at a time.”
In her first season as the Owls’ coach, Dickson said it took some time for the team to adjust to its new coaching staff.
“[Earlier this season], they were worried about what I was going to think. You’re going to get that [while playing for] a new coach,” Dickson said. “It’s like incoming freshmen – they want to prove to everyone that they are good enough to play.”
Freshman infielder Danielle Fagan leads all starters with a .316 batting average. She also has a team-high three doubles and eight runs batted in.
In 13 appearances, freshman Katie Burdeaux leads the pitching staff with two wins and a 5.25 earned run average.
Thursday marked the beginning of the Owls’ difficult end to its 16-game, three-city spring training tour.
The team played its final seven games in four days.
On Thursday, the Owls split a doubleheader with a 7-3 victory over Buffalo and a 10-2 loss to Illinois-Chicago. The Owls then lost on Friday to No. 2 Tennessee and Hofstra.
The Owls were shut out last week against North Carolina State in a 7-0 final. Later Saturday afternoon, the Owls posted their first shutout of the season against Wright State in beating the Raiders, 8-0.
Dickson said she was satisfied with how the team played on Saturday, despite their number of overall wins.
“I have high expectations for this team,” Dickson said. “I can see that we are getting more and more comfortable playing. We will start picking up some more wins when the regular season starts.”
Melissa DiPento can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.