In two close games against rival Concordia, APU softball was able to take the first game, while dropping the second contest
Azusa Pacific’s softball team went to battle against Concordia on Wednesday in a hardfought doubleheader where both teams would end up splitting the series.
APU found themselves successful in the first game, winning the contest with the score of 2-1.
“Winning the first game was really awesome. We had momentum on our side and we had a lot of confidence going into the second game and just played as hard as we could,” sophomore pitcher Kat Ung said.
The first game’s result demonstrated their teamwork and how well the team play together.
“I thought it was actually pretty good. The first game we did really well. We stayed in the game defensively, we had timely hitting and out pitchers kept us in the ball game. So I was really please with our first game,” head coach Carrie Webber said.
However, the second game had a different outcome, as the Eagles would win 6-3 in a comeback effort where Concordia was able to get more hits on the day (9) compared to the Cougars (3).
Even though Concordia ended up taking the second game, the team was still proud of the way they had performed. Regardless of the result, the team still believes that they put their best efforts to the game and still feels proud of themselves.
“Our second game was pretty much the same thing. We had some timely hitting, played good defense. We just had that sixth inning, where we gave up a few, and that’s just what happened. But overall, I was pleased with the way that they played even though we did lose the second game,” Webber said.
Junior pitcher Racqual Espinoza held Concordia to five scoreless innings and the Cougars maintained a 3-0 lead. In the sixth inning, the Eagles tied the game 3-3 after taking advantage of bases loaded opportunities. In the seventh, the Eagles would add another three runs to pull away with the 6-3 win.
Junior infielder Cayla Broussard shared her thoughts on the outcome of the game, how she feels about the team and how the team can do better as they move forward.
“I felt like we did really well in both games. The first game showed that we played really well collectively. I still think we did good in the second game, but it just did not fall on our favor. In the first game, the pitcher from Concordia has been really good this season. So I think we did well against her, hitting the ball and picking good pitches to swing at,” Broussard said.
Even though the second game was not a success, Broussard still expressed faith and confidence in the team as they continue playing and competing as a team.
“The second game I think our pitch selection was not as good as the first game, but I still think that we battled as much as we could,” Broussard said. “ I think just taking it a day at a time and working on the little things, hitting is going to be a big one, and defense is always. Just one step at a time and going back to the fundamental and just working together.”
Upon completing the game, Webber acknowledged her ideas on how well her team did and what can they do to improve in future games.
“I think one is pitching and staying ahead and taking care of batters early in the count. The second thing would be selective hitting at the play meeting that you’re swinging at strike and not balls,” Webber said.
Webber acknowledged the importance of having a good perspective as an individual member and also as a team, regardless of win or lose.
“You have to have perspective in everything you’re doing and figure out the good things that you did and things you need to work on, and have perspective throughout the entire day and not just the last two innings of an eight hour day,” Webber said. “Having a good perspective on the totality of the day and not just how you ended is something that is going to go along way in coaching and wanting to stay in it for awhile.”
At the end, the team expressed their feelings regarding which players they thought did a great job throughout the game.
“I am always going to have to give props to the catcher Jenna Gorman. She does an amazing job back there, especially for the first game. Cayla Broussard did a phenomenal job, even though I did not get one strike out that game. Just to know that my defenses are behind me, and I really appreciate that,” Ung said.
Broussard affirmed that Kat Ung did well and demonstrated what it means for softball to be a team sport.
“I thought Kat Ung today did very well. She really carried the team and what she said really showed that this is the team sport. It is never fun to lose, but I think that we still performed well and we can walk away with our heads up,” Broussard said.
With the split against Concordia, the Cougars currently stand at 13-20 this season. The Cougars will go on the road to take on California Baptist in another PacWest doubleheader on Saturday, April 7.