Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 29, 2016

EYES ON THE BALL Senior Kaile Niezgodski focuses on the pitch.

Softball Team Falls in the Ranks; Still Hopeful

Caitlin Doyle

This past weekend ended with a double loss for Spartan softball. The team traveled to Transylvania University (Transy) to face off against the Pioneers. The first game of the doubleheader ended in a close 4-6 loss for the Spartans, and the Pioneers won the second game 9-1. The Spartans’ conference standing was slightly affected by these games. They fell from third place to fourth. This, however, still allows them a chance for the conference tournament.

Transy is leading conference play and has a running streak of 10 wins. The team is also undefeated at home. This would have been a discouraging view on the game from the beginning but the Spartans fought hard through both games. Sophomore Mallorie Jennings commented on how the teams compared with Manchester being ranked fourth and Transy leading the conference. “They have a very good pitching staff; we just did not play at the level we are capable of playing,” she said. “I believe we are just as good as Transylvania.”

The Spartans got off to a rough start which left them with no one on base until the third inning and no score until the fourth. Transy also had to fight to win the game. Although their pitching was excellent throughout both games, they had to face the Spartan defense. The team had great fielding throughout the first game, in which only two errors were made overall. During the game the Spartans did not give in. They held the Pioneers to as few runs as possible, and there were three innings in which neither team scored. In this manner, the Spartans kept the game close.

Since the team is ranked well, practice must be putting the players in a good position for each team they face. “I think our coaches did a good job of preparing us for the game Saturday,” Jennings said. “Our team just needs to learn to make adjustments during the game to put us in the best position to win. The long road trip to Transylvania makes it difficult to come out playing sharp as well.”

The players felt well-prepared for the game and went into it knowing how good they were and how good their opponents are. The Transylvania Pioneers had a home field advantage and started off strongly with leads that never went away. Spartans held them to an extent and made it a good game. This slightly off day can cause trouble for the Spartans as the season starts to wind down.

The next game for the Spartans will be Sunday, May 1 at home. This will also be their last scheduled game of the season.