The softball team travelled to Topeka over the weekend to compete in the Washburn Invite.
The team started the weekend off with a win against McKendree (10-2) on Saturday, Feb. 27 before losing to Sioux Falls (0-6) later the same day. The Gorillas lost against Missouri- St. Louis (3-4) on Sunday, Feb. 28 but bounced back and ended the weekend with a victory over Wayne State (5-4).
“We definitely turned some things around,” Balazs said. “On the mound, we had poor quality start to give us a chance to win. One game defense kind of let us down. But the pitchers did a good job giving us a good start. They just need to come in and clutch situations and shut it down but overall, pretty good weekend for them. Offensively, we definitely showed at times the type of offense we’re capable of. We just need to do a better job scoring with the runner at second base.., finding a way to get that run around. Defensively, we started to see what we’re capable of. We cut our errors down from ten to four which is a pretty good improvement and I think we’re starting to become the team we think we can be.”
Taylor Compton, junior in psychology, thought the team played well throughout the weekend.
“I think our team did very well within the circle pitching,” Compton said. “I think our pitchers held their own… In the future we could do a better job competing and winning every batter, every pitch… I think that our bats were hot a lot of the time and that was really good for our team. As far as defense, I think that there were also a lot of good defensive plays. So, just being more consistent with that all around, I think, will allow us to win more ball games in the future. Overall, I was really happy with our team performance.”
In agreement with Compton is Keelah Griffith, junior in recreation and sports management.
“I think overall we performed really well,” Griffith said. “We executed in times we needed to… We have moments that we know we can excel, and our goal is to move forward in the season and find those moments and keep excelling in them.”
Several players stood out to Balazs.
“Keelah had a big weekend as far as RBIs and runs scored,” Balazs said. “So, she led us with eight and Taylor had two quality starts for us so that was awesome… Cami, as well, she had a couple huge at bats for us on Sunday to get something going or to keep something going, to put some runs up on the board. She’s a speak for us so it was awesome to see her back in the lineup and contributing.”
The softball team’s current record is 3-5 after having a rough start to the season at the UCO Festival where the Gorillas lost three games.
“The biggest difference from the weekend before and this weekend is we just communicated better as a team and we brought more energy for each other,” Griffith said. “I do believe that we thrive as a team together and bringing energy for each other.”
The Gorillas have a home stretch. On Saturday, Mar. 6, the team will play Minnesota Duluth at 12:30 p.m. then Rockhurst at 3 p.m. On Sunday, the team will play Rockhurst against at 3 p.m. then Minnesota Duluth at 5:30 p.m. After that, the team will head to Springfield to play Drury in two doubleheaders on Tuesday, Mar. 9.
“This upcoming weekend we’ve got two really tough opponents,” Balazs said. “Rockhurst has a staff ERA of 1.5, and they’re number one is really, really good. So, we just need to show up, and find a way to put a couple runs up against them… (Duluth hasn’t) played as much this year, they’re only four games in, so we don’t know as much about them right now. But traditionally they are a solid, solid program with some really, really good athletes who can do a lot of things at the plate. So, we need to be really, really good to come away as the good guys this weekend.”