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Softball team opens season in Oklahoma

The softball team travelled to Oklahoma for the first games of the 2021 season.  

The Gorillas defeated Chardon State on Sunday, Feb. 21 (5-0) then lost to Southern Nazarene later the same day (0-8). On Monday, Feb. 22, the team dropped two games against East Central (5-11) and Oklahoma Christian (4-10).  

The softball team’s last season was cancelled due to concerns with COVID-19 and Head Coach Ashley Balazs was happy to see the team play again.  

“I think the first weekend out you just kind of (got to) see where you’re at,” Balazs said. “It’s been 351 days since we’ve played anyone but ourselves. So, it was good to just get out there, know what we need to work on, communication, obviously we need to be better offensively. Our table setters did a good job in the one-two spot. We didn’t get as much production out of the middle of our lineup and then bottom of our lineup didn’t get much. So, we know what we need to improve upon, but I think the great thing is (that) we have a lot is season left. It’s very small sample size, it’s just four games. We know we’re a better team, looking forward to getting a few days of practice, weather looks great, (and) get outside…”  

Against Chardon State, Audrey Miller, junior in sport and hospitality management, helped PSU to take the lead 3-0 with a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning  

“I think our pitchers threw really well,” Miller said. “…We had some good hits here and there (but) we couldn’t really string them all together. So, I think once we figure that out, we’ll be a lot better. For not playing in 350 days, it was just nice to get on the field and play against other teams because we’ve just been scrimmaging (against) each other. So, it was fun to be able to get out there and play and kind of see what we need to work on and what we did good and just figure everything out for next week.”  

The debut games revealed a few things that the team needs to improve before their next games.  

“I think I (want to) see just like more hits strewn together,” Miller said. “…I think (we need to work on) just some communication stuff on the field that we need to work on and just cleaning up some defensive errors that we all had throughout the whole team.”  

The softball team will travel to Topeka to compete in the Washburn Invitational. The Gorillas will play McKendree first on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. then Sioux Falls at 11 a.m. On Sunday, Feb. 28, the team will play Missouri- St. Louis at noon then Wayne State at 2 p.m. 

“(I want to see the team) just come out and compete,” Balazs said. “(I want to see us) play to the best of our abilities… We know we’re capable of it, we just gotta go do it.” 

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