By Staff Writer Thomas Griffin.
Despite a strong start to their 2019 season, the UMassD softball team hit a bit of a rough patch in losing a double-header on Friday.
Entering the evening’s matches standing at 6-2 overall, the Corsairs had shut out two back-to-back opponents in a double-header the day before.
Entering the first of two Friday games against Kean, however, it was apparent that fatigue had begun to set in from their prior sweeps.
The Corsairs opened up to four straight scoreless innings, spotting Kean eight runs by the bottom of the fourth.
Scoring their first and only two runs in the top of the fifth, the game concluded after five innings with a score of Kean 10, Corsairs 2.
While the final score doesn’t reflect a good performance from the UMassD team, most of the inning-ending outs came on pop flies.
Given that Kean only suffered one error throughout the whole contest, the Corsairs’ offensive unproductivity is moreso a product of their opponent’s defensive discipline than their own miscues.
With only two errors on the game, the Corsairs didn’t play too poorly in their own right, either.
Simply put, they were outdone by Kean’s RBI efficiency, smothered by run after run in their opponent’s favor.
To their own benefit, the Corsairs would be facing a different team in an entirely different ball game next, with new chances to make plays off of their new opponent’s mistakes.
The nightcap against Husson appeared to be a different story from the start.
The Corsairs jumped out to an early, confident 3-1 lead by the end of the fourth inning, and looked to be in the driver’s seat to maintain momentum and lead the rest of the game.
The top of the fifth ended whatever UMassD optimism the early lead may have caused.
Taking advantage of three costly errors, Husson racked up six quick runs and maintained a lead that late game Corsair heroics from Jill Richards and Cierra Sheerin couldn’t recover from.
All things considered, both games seem to point to a major weakness in the newly developed softball squad: their heavy reliance on momentum. In a sort of “when it rains, it pours” type of scenario, both games were decided by a single half-inning of defensive meltdown. The Corsairs would give up several runs in a streak off of a single fault – be it errors, shortcomings in pitching, etc. – and not be able to recover.
Regardless of fatigue, or lucky opponents, or sprees of errors, UMassD softball was at 6-4 following Friday’s double-header. The team improved the following say in another double header, this team splitting the day with a win and a loss. The team’s loss against Montclair St. was reminiscent of that against Kean, albeit much closer of an affair at a 6-4 advantage to Montclair St.
A solid 5-1 win later in the night against Rutgers-Newark however, has the Corsairs sitting at a 7-5 record ahead of their next matchup with Wheaton on Wednesday.