Over the next six weeks, the Brock softball team will play at least 16 games. This means a double-header every weekend, two games on Saturday, two games on Sunday and practices during the week.
This is an incredibly compact schedule compared to many of the other varsity programs at Brock, but head coach Mark Hall is unfazed.
“We just have to know that every game means something and that when we come to play we have to show up for that.”
This weekend marked the Badgers’ longest homestand. They began a four-game win streak with victories in both doubleheaders against the York Lions and Queen’s Gaels respectively. They were dialed in defensively on Saturday, as the Badgers held the Lions to just a single run over the span of both games, winning the first 13-0 and the second 11-1.
Coach Hall pins a lot of their success on pitching. The Badgers have a number of options when it comes to who takes the mound in any given game. Haleigh Wilson threw a complete shutout in the first game and Katie-Ann Oberle surrendered only one run when she came in to pitch the second York game. Rachel Seguin had similar success the following day. Oberle came back to pitch after the second inning of the second game, replacing Michaela D’Cruz. Her fatigue showed in a wild pitch that allowed Queen’s to briefly tie the game but the Badgers easily recovered.
“Our pitching is really coming around,” said Hall.
The team is well rounded, but they wouldn’t be where they are if it weren’t for their stellar offense.
“Our strength is hitting. The girls are really hitting the ball well, we’re obviously putting a lot of runs on the board,” said Hall.
The second game against Queen’s was the closest game the Badgers played all weekend; with the Gaels taking the lead in the bottom of the second, it could have gone either way. Neither team managed to score in the third, but Brock rallied in the fourth to put up three runs and regain their lead. They allowed just one more run to the Gaels and scored seven of their own leading to a 12-5 victory.
The Badgers were strong and quick. They stole bases with ease and their hits were deep and well placed. They worked to take extra bases, often sacrificing their bodies even when leading by multiple runs.
“You can’t let up in this league because a lot of the teams are really good,” said Hall.
Brock is dominant because of an unwillingness to give up. They gain and maintain leads because they refuse to be comfortable until the game is truly won.
“We’ve had times where other teams are strong and they’ve come back. So you just have to keep going because you know these other teams are strong enough.”
The rest of the season is fast approaching, they’ll play two home games against Carleton, followed by two games against McMaster. They will also be attending the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association National Championships in Kitchener.
“We want to have a good showing at nationals,” said Hall.
Along with their national goals, Hall also has his sights set on the Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association Championships at the beginning of October.
“We want to reach championships this year,” he said. The program won a championship in 2002, and more recently earned a silver medal in 2016.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. We’ve got a great bunch of girls, great attitude, great energy, we can’t wait to see where else we’re gonna go.”