The Lady Crusader softball team kicked off its season with a rough start. Now, mid-way through, they are looking to turn the season around. The team has played several preseason games, participated in a couple of tournaments and started its ASC conference play.
Junior first base, Courtney Johnston said, “I think this season has started off a little bumpy, but we are still learning to play with each other. Each day we grow and become closer as a team.”
The Cru is 7-13 overall and 0-4 in conference play, losing two double headers to Howard Payne University. At the LeTourneau Tournament in February, the team went 2-2 for the weekend, beating Nebraska University, Wesleyan University, and Southwestern University and dropping games to U.T. Tyler and East Texas Baptist.
The women then participated in the ASC First Pitch Tournament going 3 for 1 overall, capturing victories over U.T. Dallas, University of the Ozarks and LeTourneau. The team’s only loss in the tournament was to the Mississippi College Choctaws. This past weekend in Louisiana the Cru lost two close games to nationally- ranked DePauw University. The team also suffered from two devastating losses against ASC East Division Louisiana College on Saturday.
Head Coach Kasey Blomquist said the team is striving to be able to play in the championship game of the post-season tournament.
“As a whole, we are disappointed with the start, but we are working hard and turning things around. We have been practicing extremely hard this week, and the pitchers have been working hard to cut down on walks.”
Although the season started off rough, the ladies are not giving up making it to the playoffs. Johnston believes the team has what it takes.
“It will be harder than we would like, but I think it’ll give us more drive to get the job done,” she said.
The women also celebrated the recognition of teammate Erica Salazar as ASC West Division Hitter of the Week for games played during the week of March 2.
“Erica went 6 for 11, which gave her a batting average of .545,” Blomquist said.
The second base junior had two walks, a double, a home run and 3 RBI’s at the ASC First Pitch Tournament.
“Becoming hitter of the week never once crossed my mind I’ve just made sure to work hard during practice and continued to correct the little things I was doing wrong, and it definitely paid off,” Salazar said.
The Lady Crusaders will continue their conference play Friday night at 5 p.m. in Kerrville, Texas with double headers against Schreiner University, which is 3-1 in ASC West Division. The team will close out the four game series with a 1 p.m. double header Saturday.