The Trinity softball team lost both games of a doubleheader to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) on Tuesday, April 2, at the Trinity University Softball Field. Despite the team’s strong performance against University of Dallas the prior weekend, the Tigers fell 9–1 in game one of the series, and 6–3 in the second.
The series marked just the second time this season that the Tigers have competed in the middle of a week. In the team’s only previous Tuesday game, the Tigers were swept by Concordia University.
Carli Jones, sophomore second baseman, explains that playing in the middle of the week is difficult, particularly with the balance of academics.
“It’s a lot different playing on a Tuesday, especially at home because we have to go to all of our classes that day, no matter what time they are at. We end up with part of the team warming up together, and the girls that are still in class warming up after they are let out of their classes. It’s a bit of a challenge not having our whole team getting ready for our games, but it’s a benefit to play at home because that’s where we practice day-in and day-out,” Jones said.
Sophomore shortstop Brianna Pena agrees that although the week’s schedule was strenuous, she valued the experience of playing at home.
“We had just finished playing a series against Dallas over the weekend, so I thought we had really good momentum going into our Tuesday games, but it’s definitely different playing in the middle of the week. Personally, I had a lot going on with school so it was a bit more stressful and a different atmosphere playing on Tuesday rather than a weekend. Despite that, I did really like that we were able to play at home,” Pena said.
In preparation for the game, the Tigers referenced their previous game history with the Saints.
“When we were supposed to play OLLU in the fall, our games were rained out, so we were looking primarily at what we had seen out of them from last year’s games. Looking at past games against them, we went in knowing they could hit, so we had to have a tight defense with them. The day before we played, we had hitting groups where we got to hit on the field a little bit and worked on the tees to maintain our mechanics and focus on game-like hitting situations,” Jones said.
In the first game of the series, OLLU was able to score two runs in the top of the first inning. The Tigers were unable to score until the bottom of the fourth inning when a solo home run by senior outfielder Marisa Trevino brought the score to 2–1. The Saints responded with seven runs in the fifth inning, giving the Saints a 9–1 lead and a run-rule victory.
“I feel like OLLU had a pretty dominant pitching staff, so the first time around the line-up we were struggling. We definitely made adjustments with either pitch selection or where we stood in the box, but the hits just weren’t coming like they usually do. Sometimes your swing can be perfect but the hits don’t come, which is just a part of the game,” Pena said.
In the second game, the Saints again gained an early lead through three runs in the top of the first inning. With the addition of a run in the second inning, the Saints led by 4–0 before the Tigers were able to get on the board after an error by the Saints allowed first-year outfielder Emily Barefield to reach home.
Although the Tigers earned late runs in the sixth and seventh innings when Marisa Trevino hit another solo home run and a hit by senior second baseman Hailey Wilson brought sophomore outfielder Emily Vaclavik home, the early deficit proved too much to overcome as the Saints closed the series with a 6–3 victory.
“I definitely think that having four conference games only a few days prior to these games had a lot to do with the outcome of these games. The team was tired, and we didn’t seem to have the same energy that we always bring to our games. If we brought the same intensity we normally do, it would’ve been a completely different set of games, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case, so all we can do is get ready for our next games,” Jones said.
This weekend, the Tigers will travel to Georgetown, Texas, where they will face Southwestern University in a conference matchup beginning on Friday, April 5.
Sophomore outfielder Gina Monaco looks at these games as a great opportunity for the team to improve their offense from Tuesday’s games.
“Personally, I’m hoping to keep improving at the plate. I hope to string together more [runs batted in], runs, and just get on base so that my teammates can move me around. In the field, I think we can continue covering ground and making good throws. As a whole, we need to get our hitting back to where it was against Dallas and the games before that, and I definitely think that can be achieved,” Monaco said.
The Tigers will play their final home game of the season against Centenary College the following week where the team will celebrate Senior Day.
“I’m overall excited for the rest of our schedule because home games always have a fun atmosphere, and the team is particularly energetic when we play in front of our fans, friends and family. With it being senior night, there’s even more passion to win, especially for our six seniors who are playing their last home game. Every conference game is important, and to get wins at our final home games as we edge closer to the actual conference tournament will be vital towards the end of our season,” Monaco said.