A solid conference record is essential to success on the softball field. This weekend, Temple’s women’s softball team started its schedule in the Atlantic 10 Conference against UMass.
In three games, the Minutewomen stifled the Temple Lady Owls by scores of 4-0, 7-1, and 9-0. On Saturday, Temple lost in both games of its doubleheader. The Owls entered Sunday hoping they could at least salvage one game of the three-game series.
Temple fell by a score of 9-0. Sloppy defense and a lack of offensive production killed any hopes the Lady Owls had of winning.
“Our defense was sloppy. This game was really ugly,” head coach Rocci Pignoli said. “Our offense couldn’t get anything going either.”
The 9-20 Lady Owls feel their record is not representative of their skills.
“We are not this bad of a team,” freshman utility player Billie Akauola said. “We can do so much more than we are doing right now. We have to step up and be more consistent on the offensive and defense sides of the game.”
The most productive player on the field Sunday was pitcher and first baseman Bari Lynn Pflueger. “Pflueger got us out of a lot of tough situations on the mound,” coach Pignoli said.
The score of the game was not indicative of her performance. At the plate, she went 2-4, with two singles. On the mound, three out of her six innings pitched were scoreless.
However, in the fourth and sixth innings, six runs were scored by fault of infield miscues. One of the main reasons for the loss was careless play on defense.
UMass had two separate first and third situations in which one of its players was involved in a rundown. During both of these plays, the player on third base scored, and the player involved in the rundown was safe.
Hitting is something that is not a constant in softball. Players are going to go into slumps, but solid defense keeps teams in games. On Sunday, the Lady Owls were not productive with their bats, and their defense was not there to keep them in the game.
If Temple continues their lackadaisical defensive efforts, their season could continue to worsen.
Andrew Monoghan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org