The softball team played doubleheaders against Washburn, Lindenwood, Lincoln, and Central Missouri. The Gorillas played Washburn Friday, April 5 but lost both matches (0-3, 3-8). The team played another doubleheader against Lindenwood Saturday, April 6 and lost both matches (0-3, 1-4). The team battled back in a doubleheader against Lincoln Sunday, April 7 and won both of those matches (10-3, 8-4). The Gorillas split the doubleheader against Central Missouri Tuesday, April 9. They won the first game but lost the second (6-5, 2-6).
Head coach Ashley Balazs believes the team played well despite several losses.
“At Lindenwood we had some really really good pitching performances (but) our offense just came up short,” Balazs said. “Lots of opportunities… and did not take advantage of it. At Lincoln, it was all around a really, really good job. We were able to rest Halle a little bit; she just threw right around three innings and our offensive came alive… We had a lot of doubles (and) a couple home runs. And then yesterday against Central we got a big split. Anytime you can split with a team like Central Missouri you are doing something right so that was awesome. We had some timely hitting there in that first game. The second game our offense just could not quite come alive… We need to do a better job of just finding a way to score, to get home run production going but a lot of good things over the last six games and we have to keep that going into the weekend.”
In the first game against Lincoln, junior Kala Holder had three hits and junior Makenzie Goswick, junior Kaity Kukowski, and junior Brittanee Knepper all had two apiece. Holder had five RBIs, Kukowski had two, and Knepper had one. Senior Chole Holman had a total of six putouts, junior Madison Wegner had five, and Knepper and senior Ali Gutc each had one apiece. Knepper made three assists and Gutc added one.
In game two against Lincoln, Gutc had a total of three assists and junior Dru Collins, Kukowski, and Wegner each had two apiece. Collins had four RBIs. Goswick had six putouts, Collins added five, Holder had three, and Knepper had two. Knepper added three assists and Holder added two.
A couple of players stood out to Balazs during the matches this past weekend and on Tuesday.
“Goswick is really really swinging the bat really well right now,” Balazs said. “Obviously, she had that home run to walk us off last night, but she is doing a good job at the plate. Kaity Kukowski. She is leading us in RBIs now and is doing a good job of just hitting the ball hard. Some of our hits have not shown up on the stat sheet and sometimes that is just how hitting goes...”
Balazs hopes to prepare the team for their upcoming home matches.
“We need to do a good job against Northwest and take care of business,” Balazs said. “They are a team who can hit really, really well so we need to make sure that we limit them and keep the ball on the corners and make quality strikes, but I really think we should be able to attack their pitching. We feel comfortable in the box at home and we need to take advantage of that and then find a way to get one against Western and then we will be sitting alright.”
The Gorillas next match is a doubleheader against Northwest Missouri here in Pittsburg Friday, April 12. On Saturday, April 13 the team will face Missouri Western in another doubleheader in Pittsburg.