It was a tough weekend for Southern Miss softball team as they had to battle rain delays and last minute defensive changes because of injuries. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles could not overcome the diversity as they left the Tiger Classic with an 0-4 start to the season.
“Lot of stopping and lot of starting, the weekend was just really choppy,” Head Coach Wendy Hogue said. “I feel like that kind of explains our team, we’d get going and get hot and then get cold. We just have to figure a way out to stay hot for seven straight innings.”
The defensive suffered two injuries just before the start of the weekend. Infielders, Heather Hill tore her ACL a week before the tournament and Chase Nelson missed the weekend due to a quad injury. This forced several freshman and other members of the team to play positions that they haven’t practiced. Despite the setback, the infield played well with the lack of personnel but the outfield and infield still had rocky moments as they posted eight errors in the opening weekend.
Freshman Rebekah DiLavore was forced to move to shortstop and freshman “Tata” Davis was forced to play third base, a position she had not practiced in until several days prior. While first and second base saw a rotation between Sarah Van Schaik, Karley Nicholls and Jamie Powell.
“I thought the left side of our infield played great defense,” Hogue said. “I thought Tata and Rebekah had great weekends. I thought Jamie Powell did a good job. She played second base until about three days before we got on the bus to come here.”
Errors were not the only issue as the offense struggled, being outscored 22-7. The offense only gathered 18 hits the entire weekend but despite the low number the hits became more consistent as the tournament progressed. The team had zero hits against Massachusetts but finished with eight against Syracuse. Notably, Davis now has a three-game hitting streak which was key in salvaging the offense.
“Lot of things exposed, lot of good and a lot of bad,” Hogue said. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t put a full game together. I thought my pitchers did well, we had a lapse in defense and we didn’t get timely hits. A lot of good things, but we just have to do a whole lot more of those good things if we are going to win some ball games.”