Struggling against 30-degree weather and wind gusts up to 33 mph over the weekend, the Chargers softball team went 1 – 3 at the Midwest Region Crossover tournament in Evansville, Indiana, dropping two games Saturday and splitting two games on Sunday, finishing with a win.
Sophomore second baseman Amanda Marra said hitting came alive Saturday, and batters came through with well-timed hits with runners on base. Ultimately, though, the Chargers lost 14 – 8 to Kentucky Wesleyan and 9 – 5 to Bellarmine.
“Saturday was rough,” senior catcher Cassie Asselta said. “Our hitting was better than it had been, but if we’re going to score eight runs, we can’t give up 14.”
Against Kentucky Wesleyan, Kastning went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored, and two RBIs. Over the course of the weekend, senior center fielder Bekah Kastning hit .571, with an additional two RBIs against Bellarmine. Marra and freshman outfielder Victoria Addis both went 2-for-4 against Bellarmine, bringing in two runs each. Junior third baseman Kelsey Gockman hit a two-run single, while sophomore outfielder Katie Kish went 2-for-3.
Head coach Joe Abraham said the two main factors in the weekend’s losses were defensive errors and pitchers getting behind in counts.
“Defensively, we’re just simply making too many errors on the field,” he said. “Part of that is pitchers falling behind hitters makes it tough to play defense.”
After a five-inning 11 – 1 loss to Southern Indiana, where the only hit was sophomore first baseman Haley Lawrence’s home run, the Chargers rallied for a 4 – 3 victory over McKendree. All four of the team’s runs came in the bottom of the second inning with a two-run single from freshman Sam Catron and a two-run double from Kish. Freshman pitcher Dana Weidinger allowed only one earned run against McKendree. Abraham said the win against McKendree was typical of how the team wins games.
“The one big inning will beat the few small innings almost every time,” he said. “You can afford to give up a solo home run when you’re not giving runs away otherwise.”
This weekend put the Chargers at 4 – 5 overall, but Abraham said the past nine games against above-average teams has provided valuable experience for a half-freshmen team. Asselta said the team was able to dial in and refocus for the game against McKendree, allowing the team to finish the weekend on a strong note.
“Even though we were down after losing those first three games, the fact that we were able to pull it together and find ourselves as a team for that last game is what matters,” Asselta said. “We play a family sport, so if not everyone’s on their game, it can compile and get out of hand, but it’s pulling everything back together that proves the quality of the team, and we were definitely able to do that.”
Next, the softball team will play 14 games over spring break in Clermont, Florida, before beginning conference play at home against Findlay Mar. 25.