Softball season: Do or die

USM softball coach Wendy Hogue walks during a contest against Miss. St. on Mar. 28.

The Lady Eagles season will solely depend on the team’s ability to find consistency in their offense.

The Lady Eagles are one game over .500 after a 21-5 win over Jackson State on Wednesday. In their last 10 games, the Lady Eagles have lost six of those, with their longest win streak being only at two games. With a 3-6 start in conference play, it is now imperative to build positive momentum after upsetting South Alabama, but dropping a contest against Mississippi State.

They have struggled against many lower-end softball teams and have played inconsistent in the first half of the season, but they have the ability to defeat any team, which they have shown.

Pitching has proven to be the most consistent aspect of the team. However, no elite pitcher has emerged from the team.

Transfer Kim Crowson has become the most dependable pitcher having a 1.67 ERA and leads the team with 42 strikeouts. Pitchers Samantha Robles and Jillian Johnson each have had their share of brilliance and disappointment. Robles and Johnson both have losing records of 3-5 and 4-5, but post a 2.73 ERA and a 2.99 ERA, respectively.

Despite the minor pitching problems, the heart of the Golden Eagle problems lie in their hitting.

The team is currently hitting a .241 batting average. Except for Lauren Holifield’s .302 average and team-leading seven home runs, the team lacks stability. The team averages six hits and just over three runs per game. This shows that the team either needs to capitalize in scoring runs or the team need to hit more home runs to suffice for the low hits.

The team needs to adjust to the type of offense that they can benefit from, based on how their offense has played. The team must define their hitting style — and trying to hit home runs is not their answer.

The teams on-base percentage of .349 is the high point of the team. If the Golden Eagles can find a surge and have that rise to over .400, then the team could base their hitting style as a small-ball type of team. This could help them drive in more runs more efficiently, or at the very least, increase their chances of scoring in games.

If this team can find a groove, making an NCAA Regional is still within their cards. Yet, this all goes back into finding an identity in their offense and sticking with it.


All statistics are current as of Mar. 28, courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics.