This past weekend, the Brock women’s softball team had their opening homestand at Lancaster Park in St. Catharines, while also completing the most grueling portion of their 2018 schedule.
The Badgers played six games in a span of approximately 44 hours, yet still managed to earn a positive result more often than not, winning four of the six games. The Badgers entered the weekend with a 3-1 record after a road trip in Toronto two weekends ago and had carried that momentum into this past weekend.
The Badgers faced the Guelph Gryphons in their opening doubleheader and easily took care of business with a pair of wins (9-2 and 11-9). The good times continued to roll as Brock also swept away a doubleheader against the Waterloo Warriors, winning games by scores of 5-4 and 11-4.
Entering Sunday’s games, the Badgers were riding high. They possessed a 7-1 record, were in the midst of a four game winning streak and were undefeated at home, seeming nearly unbeatable. Things came to a screeching halt however, as the Badgers dropped the first game on Sunday to the Laurier Golden Hawks, 7-0. This result provided the first bit of adversity in this season for the team as it was just their second loss and by far their largest margin of defeat.
“Us not scoring any runs in a game is unheard of,” said Brock head coach Mark Hall. “But, we just didn’t respond to their pitching.”
In the second of the two game set, the Badgers had jumped out to a an early 2-0 lead, capitalizing on a pair of Golden Hawks errors in the first inning. They were able to hold that lead until Laurier broke through in the fifth inning to claim a 4-2 advantage. Brock managed to battle back and tie the game up in the top of the seventh, but Laurier then swept the bottom half of the inning, taking the game by a final score of 5-4.
“The girls just ran out of gas. It was tiring for them with the schedule. But we know we still have to compete every game. Laurier is a good team and we knew we were in for a battle, they always play well against us and us against them,” Hall said.
Despite a disappointing end to an otherwise positive weekend, Hall believes something can be learned from these results.
“The girls do have to take away from this week. Sometimes they’ve got to bear down and dig a little deeper and keep playing. But I have no problems, we’ll come back,” said Hall.
Oddly enough, the Badgers now have a 1-3 record on Sundays this season, while they are 6-0 on any other day of the week. However, with a record of 7-3, the Badgers still find themselves in strong position in the Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association (OIWFA) standings.
Despite coming up just short in the walkoff loss, Hall remains confident in his team despite some offensive struggles.
“The girls at that point really did have the momentum coming our way. We just didn’t put any runs on the board after that. So that’s the only thing, if you don’t hit the ball after then you’re kind of in trouble. And Laurier played good defense too,” said Hall. “I think the girls will have learned a bit of a lesson, and you know, they’re tired. I get that, but we’ll be back, there’s not a problem there. I have all the confidence in the world in these girls.”
Looking ahead to next weekend, the Badgers attempt to get back to their winning ways against the winless York Lions. But this is certainly not a time for the Badgers to look past any opponent.
“You’ve got to just take every team like they’re the same, we don’t take anybody lightly. York could bring it any game, you never know,” Hall said.
The Badgers’ trip to York represents their final two road games on their 16 game regular season schedule. They will return home to Lancaster Park for a pair of doubleheaders against Western and Windsor on September 29 and 30 to wrap up the regular season.