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Lions lose series to Wildcats

Sarah Hess

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Pitcher Ali McCoy runs to score the team’s only run of the last game. File Photo/The Lion's Roar

The Lady Lions softball team ends their three-game series against Abilene Christian University with one win and two losses.

The first two matches were held on Friday, March 9. The first game ended in a 5-4 loss while the Lady Lions pushed through for a 3-2 win. For the second game on Friday, Head Coach Rick Fremin explained how the rearrangement of the playing schedule put an added physical drain on the team.

“The schedule changed,” said Fremin. “We were only supposed to play one on Friday, and we went ahead and played two on Friday, and not only did we play two on Friday, but it went to five and seven, and then you had a game that went into extra innings, which pushed the players getting out of here late.”

Little sleep and a schedule they were not used to lead to the team having to come together and refocus to end the three-day series strong.

“They got very little rest and had to turn around back for a noon game,” said Fremin. “It’s a short turnaround with what we're trying to do and get refocused. We have nine seniors on the team. They understand how this works. They have to lead our team and help out our younger ones throughout that process when we do have sudden change and adjust to the daily schedule.”

The next day’s game ended barely avoiding a shutout against the team with a 7-1 loss. Sophomore pitcher Tanner Wright used the defeat as a springboard to prepare for the rest of their conference.

“The weekend didn’t go our way obviously, but I feel that it’s nothing to be discouraged about,” said Wright. “We had a lot of great moments this weekend, and there’s just some stuff we need to clean up going into the rest of the conference play.”

A hit by the ball in the fifth inning while on the mound could not keep Wright out the game.

“I don’t know if maybe my adrenaline was pumping or something,” said Wright. “I just had to work through it. It was something I obviously didn’t want to happen, but we ended up getting out of the inning scoreless. So, it just worked in the team’s way.”

Their last game left the team with no runs going into the 7th inning when the team conjured up a spark of energy and a boost of morale both in the dugout and on the field. Teammates cheered as pitcher Ali McCoy scored the team’s only run of the game. McCoy explained that much of the team’s success comes from their support.

“I just think being each other’s back pocket going forward, it’s going to help us so much as a team as we bond together,” said McCoy.

Fremin explained that teamwork has been a key element that his program pushes.

“It’s something I’ve preached from day one,” said Fremin. “This is a team sport. I have no tolerance for self-players or transferring blame, and they know that. We preach that to them, and we were trying to create a family environment and a good bond and have team chemistry. A combination of all that is probably a reflection of what you see.”

The team’s next game will be at home against University of Mississippi on Wednesday, March 14 at 5 p.m.

“We have another top 25 team on this schedule coming in here,” said Fremin. “They’re a well-coached ball club. They have post-season experience. It’s going to be a tough contest for us, but those teams are on our schedule to try and prepare us for conference series.” 

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