An 0-4 record during the Spring Break is no cause for celebration, but Jennifer Buehler, assistant women’s softball coach, said “The Hump” in a season has to come eventually.
“It’s much better to see our weaknesses in the beginning of the season before we have even played our first conference game than when it’s too late,” said Buehler.
The first conference and home double header will be at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. March 24 against Kansas Wesleyan University at Broadway Sports Complex. KWU is currently 0-7 and stands eighth in the conference. The Lady Builders are 1-8 and stand seventh in conference.
The Lady Builder softball team played two games in Springfield Missouri, March 12. The first game, the women lost 9-1 against Evangel University and the second game went to University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 8-0.
“(During the EU game) we made a lot of mistakes and they just capitalized on them,” said Buehler.
The conditions were not prime. With 40-degree temperatures, 10 mph winds and muddy fields, both teams were at a disadvantage. But, SC struggled with making plays and the team tallied six errors. EU had 26 at bats and 12 hits while SC batted 18 times with four hits.
Rachel Ratcliff, sophomore utility, doesn’t feel as though she played her best. “I miss judged a couple balls in the outfield,” she said. Then while pitching during the USAO game Ratcliff was nailed with a hit to the ankle. “Before that I was hit by their pitcher while batting, so it was a double whammy to that leg,” she said.
She was pulled to have her ankle wrapped. “My ankle is fine now, it was just numb from the cold and pain,” said Ratcliff.
Alysse Yates, sophomore pitcher went in during the fifth inning. She walked three batters, then the fourth hit a grand slam out of the park.
One player recognized the team’s struggle, but knew she did her job. Chelsea Fort, sophomore infielder said, “I did really well. I got on base and made the plays so I did my job, and that’s all we are asked to do.”
Fort believes that one of the problems is that not all of the players are doing their job for the team. “A lot of it is mental too,” she said.
The Lady Builders then played Mid-America Christian University in a double header March 16, in Oklahoma City. “After the messy weekend the team had a heart-to-heart. I think that helped us pull things together for the Mid-America games,” said Buehler. “Although we didn’t win we stuck with them and that is good with tough competition.” Both games went to MACU, the first 3-0 and the second 7-5.
Although the runs didn’t follow, the SC bats smacked nine hits during the first game, while MACU only racked up five hits. Ratcliff struck out 5 MACU players and there were only two fielding errors.
Fort went two for three but never touched home.
“In the second game we got our bats going Hillary (Hull, sophomore pitcher) pitched a really good first half then Alysse (Yates) came in during the third inning,” said Buehler. “The problem was the team left too many runners on base,” she said.
SC stepped up to the plate 29 times with eight hits during the second game, while MACU totaled 27 at bats and nine hits. However MACU had 6 RBIs while SC only had 4 RBIs.
Even though the Lady Builders are scheduled to play March 24, there is a 70 percent chance for rain. In the case of rain the game will be rescheduled.
Fans are still urged not to park and tailgate directly behind center field.
“I have very high hopes for our team, we still have the majority of our season left and we do not even have one conference game under our belt. Our record doesn’t say much when we have been sticking with the really tough and top teams and we have not even seen our own competition,” said Buehler.