Softball losing streak hits four games
Unfortunately, a softball game is seven innings; two fewer and the Washington University softball team may have had a better weekend.
The Bears lost two games on Saturday, 7-1 to Central College and 5-1 to Augustana College, and gave up 11 of the opposing teams’ 12 runs in the sixth inning of each game.
“We were really excited to get these games in with the upcoming weather, but unfortunately we didn’t have what it takes to win two games today,” head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutte said. “We didn’t have timely hitting. Our defense let us down in crucial innings. You couple that with minimal hitting, and it’s not a good combination.”
After 22 straight games on the road to open the season, Wash. U. had hoped the friendly confines of the WU Softball Field would end a recent two-game losing streak. Unfortunately, the weekend only stretched the streak to four games.
Although the Red and Green recorded 12 hits over the two games, they left 16 runners on base. All three errors the team committed over the weekend came in the sixth innings.
Against Central, the visitors jumped out to an early 1-0 lead off junior pitcher Kelsey Neal before junior Stacy Berg sent a towering home run to right-center field to tie the game at 1.
And nothing changed until the top of the sixth inning, even with the Central supporters twirling Twizzlers in the air for good luck.
At that point, Central scored six runs on four hits and an error, capped by first baseman Katie Canney’s grand slam to right-center field that put the game out of reach. On the pitch right before her home run, Canney had fouled a pop fly down the right field line that was just barely out of junior right fielder Maggie Mullen’s reach.
Against Augie, freshman Annie Pitkin overcame a leadoff walk and double to start the game by striking out six of the next seven batters she faced. Both pitchers traded zeroes for the first few innings until the Bears struck in the bottom of the fifth.
With runners on first and second, Neal stepped up to the plate and singled up the middle. Sophomore Adrienne White rounded third and slid around a tag at the plate to score the game’s first run.
But then came the sixth inning, and Augie struck.
The scoring began with a bases loaded single for third baseman Chaney Tambling and continued as the Vikings racked up five runs on six hits and two errors. That was all the scoring they needed as Wash. U. was held hitless in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings.
“I believe [the reactions] will be positive. Complacency is not a good thing on this team, and hopefully we have gotten that message. Hopefully everyone will be battling, and that is a competition that we want to create. I’m pretty sure this will benefit us in the long run,” Pineda-Boutte said.
The Red and Green will hope to end the losing streak on Wednesday afternoon against the University of Wisconsin-Platteville if the snowfall has cleared off the field. First pitch for the first game of the doubleheader is at 2 p.m