By Jillian Shutt
It was a tough opening stretch for the softball team this past weekend, losing their first four games at the North Carolina A&T Invitational in Greensboro, N.C.
The first game of the 2011 season was against Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne on Friday. The Broncs had a hard time getting the bats going, only managing two hits in the 5-0 shutout.
“Each of the teams that we played this weekend were very beatable and would be the type of teams we will see this season,” said junior Lucy Higgins.
IPFW only had two earned runs, with the others resulting from errors made by the Broncs. The second game against Presbyterian was rained out on Friday and rescheduled for Saturday.
The competition was tighter in the first game on Saturday with Presbyterian, as the Broncs lost a pitchers’ duel, 1-0, in extra innings.
Freshman pitcher Krysti Maronski recorded five strikeouts, five hits and only four walks.
Rider put in a good effort in the nightcap, but was still winless after facing off against West Carolina, losing 7-1.
Freshman Kehli Washington led off with a single in the sixth inning, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored the only run for Rider on a passed ball.
On the final day of the tournament, the Broncs lost to the host team, North Carolina A&T, 3-0.
The Broncs were unable to come away with a big hit and left seven base runners stranded. For the weekend, the Broncs had only 15 hits and a .143 batting average.
“This past weekend showed us we still have lots of things we still have to work on as a team and individually,” said Higgins. “This week at practice we are all working hard and expect improvements.”
The next competition for the Broncs is the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax, Va., against Cornell and the host Patriots of GMU this weekend.
“Our plan for this upcoming weekend is to compete every minute of the game against George Mason and Cornell,” said Higgins.
From March 13-19 the Broncs will head down to Florida for 10 games in the sun.
“We are looking to play some great softball against some great competition including, Yale, Army, Hartford, and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, to name a few,” said Higgins.
The softball team has one goal in mind.
“We are ready to compete in the MAAC,” said Higgins. “We have a very talented team this year with an amazing coaching staff that knows how to win.”