SOFTBALL | GU Aims to Stop Slide
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 01:03
It has been three weeks since the Georgetown softball team (1-10) won its first and only game of the season. The win came in the final game of their first tournament and, ever since then, the team has struggled mightily to score runs. The Hoyas will hope to change their fortunes this weekend when they travel to Kissimmee, Fla., to participate in the five-game Citrus Classic Tournament.
The Blue and Gray have yet to find their rhythm and the blame for their losses fall largely on their struggling offense. In three games last weekend, the team scored only one run. Offensive ineptitude has been a theme this season for the Blue and Gray, and if the Hoyas hope to record some wins, something needs to change.
“Our offense has not been as productive as we would like, but hitting can be streaky,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “The girls are working hard in the cages, and I think we look good in practice. We will keep swinging, and I am confident it will transfer to the games."
The only player on the Georgetown team that has allowed a glimmer of hope on the offensive side is senior catcher Shikara Lowe. Lowe continues to lead the team mentally, and it’s her bat that can change the tone the Hoyas’ offensive tone.
“Shikara has been a leader since she arrived at Georgetown,” Conlan said. “Shikara is a play maker and when she is playing well, we can see the difference in the team.”
Lowe’s leadership and experience is exactly what the team needs this weekend as they look to claim their second victory. It is in moments like these that a captain’s presence off the field has the as much impact as any player’s on-field performance.
While Georgetown's offense has continued to struggle, the team’s pitching has also been spotty. Sophomore hurlers Lauren O’Leary and Megan Hyson have nearly shut down their opponents in some games while imploding in others —including in the team's last game against USC Upstate, where the two combined to give up eight runs.
“We have had many bright spots on the mound so far this season, but we are working every day on putting an entire game together,” Conlan said. “Consistency is the key to a good pitching staff.”
If the Hoyas hope to win this weekend, they will depend on their pitching staff to set a positive tone for the offense. No team can afford to give up eight runs, especially not a team that has swung the bat so poorly this season.
There is no doubt that Georgetown’s line-up boasts potential in the form of players such as junior right fielder Allie Antilla and freshman shortstop Samantha Giovanniello, who had a standout performance in the team’s first tournament of the season. If the Hoyas’ bats are finally able to get into the swing of things and the pitching staff can hold opponents to one or two runs, the Hoyas have a chance to begin spring break with some wins. However if the Georgetown offense doesn’t change, neither will the results.
Georgetown will play Illinois State (8-8), Temple (1-3), Fairfield (2-2), Charleston (1-8, and Boston College (3-2) this weekend, none of which boasts an overly impressive resume. Illinois State has two wins over ranked teams, including a 7-0 win over Georgetown’s Big East rival, No. 17 South Florida. On paper, Georgetown’s talent is on par with most of its opponents this weekend, and the Hoyas have a good chance to succeed.
First pitch in the Citrus Classic Tournament is set for today at 3:30 p.m.