By Justin Stephenson
Although the U of L softball team has been streaky at times during the season the season is starting to turn as the Cards went on a seven game winning streak before dropping the last two games.
“I think we have found a good mix and we’re really happy with this group,” Coach Sandy Pearsall said.
And why wouldn’t she be? U of L went on its longest win streak of the season at seven games, thanks to the dominant performance of the defense. In fact, the defense as of the seven game winning streak is only rivaled by the defense of the first seven games of the season posting 38 strikeouts in the stretch. The young pitching staff held opponents to an under 3.00 earned run average for the first time since the start of the season.
“We’ve made some defensive changes which I think has not only helped those players defensively, but also offensively. It’s taken a little bit of pressure off of them and they seem to be playing better. We’ve moved Kayla Soles from third base to right field, Whitney Arion from shortstop to third base and Hannah Kiyohara from right field to shortstop. If that main group of defense can continue on, I think we’ll be in a great position,” Coach Pearsall remarked.
There has also been another do over on defense as Maryssa Becker has claimed the new title of starting pitcher.
“Maryssa has definitely stepped up and has really gone with that opportunity to prove that she is very capable, although with that being said, we still need Caralisa Connell and Rachel LeCoq to throw good innings because we cannot put it all on Maryssa.”
Although their defense has been distinguished, the offense has held its own as well. The home run total has doubled from three to seven and their average assist numbers have doubled.
“On the offensive end, a lot of players have really stepped it up, we’ve gotten a lot of support from seniors Taner Fowler, Katie Keller, Maggie Ruckenbrod and Hannah Kiyohara. I also think that in our freshman class, Maryssa Becker has really stepped up for us and that has been huge because with her we’ve been able to get some things done,” Coach Pearsall said.
Despite the Cards seven-game win streak UCF still bested U of L winning the last two games the Cards played against them. On a two game losing streak the Cardinals travel to IU on Wednesday to get back to winning ways.
The Cardinals’ next home game is versus Temple on Saturday 4/26 at noon.