The softball team played two doubleheaders last weekend. On Saturday, April 17, the Gorillas lost both games against Central Missouri (2-3, 3-6). They bounced back the next day and won both games against Lincoln (5-0, 9-1).
“Pitching wise, we did a really good in the circle,” said Head Coach Ashley Balazs. “(We) just gave up a few too many runs in the first innings but other than that I thought it was a pretty solid weekend for us. We hit the ball really, really well for the most part. Definitely, at times, we felt like we out hit Central Missouri, just couldn’t get that one or two more… hits. But it was definitely a solid weekend. Our kids are competing really, really hard and giving us a chance to win games.”
Paxtyn Hayes, freshman in business marketing, also felt like the team was one more hit away from defeating Central Missouri.
“I think playing against Central Missouri, being a top team, I thought we played really well against them,” Hayes said. “If we would have had like one more like extra base hit or one less error, I think we would’ve had them in both games. Lincoln, we played very well, and we hit the ball really well. We played as a team really well… Overall, the weekend, we played together very well.”
Taylor Compton, junior in psychology, was happy to see the team working together through the weekend.
“I think our team did a great job of working together as a unit,” Compton said. “These past few games, we’ve really had to depend on the person standing next to us. Our team has shown a lot of competitiveness and fight recently and I’m excited about what this team can do moving forward. We fought hard against Central Missouri and just came up a bit short. We carried that same fight into Sunday and were able to come out with two wins, which was great for us.”
In game one against Lincoln, PSU started off the with two runs. Hayes drove in three runs with a two RBI double. The Gorillas continued scoring in the sixth and plated two runs in the seventh to finish the game. Kaylee Burns allowed three hits and registered five strikeouts. Burns was credited with the win. In game two, Taylor Lambert drove in three runs. Kami Zimmerman had three hits and two RBIs. Compton allowed five hits and one earned run. Compton was credited with the win.
“Paxtyn Hays really stepped up this whole weekend,” Compton said. “She typically plays right field for us, but we needed her behind the plate while our other catcher was gone with ROTC. I’m proud of her for embracing her role by helping the team where she was needed. That was her first weekend behind the plate in her collegiate career and she absolutely crushed it.”
A few players stood out to Balazs.
“Kaylee had two quality starts for us, probably around ten hits combined,” Balazs said. “So, she did an awesome job. We had Lambert who had an awesome weekend. I think she combined for eight RBIs and runs scored…”
The same players stood out to Hayes.
“I’m gonna say against Lincoln, Kaylee and Taylor, our two pitchers (stood out to me) because they came in and shut them down,” Hayes said. “They didn’t really get any hard hits off of us and we kept most of the balls in the infield. So, I thought they did a really good job of moving their spots really well and shutting them down.”
The Gorillas next games are in the form of a doubleheader against Central Oklahoma in Edmond on Saturday, April 24.
“We kind of need to be a little bit black and white where the only option is to go and win but in order to do that we really, really need to compete each pitch and be at us best when the moment calls for it,” Balazs said.