SOFTBALL | GU Benefits From Extra Rest
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 02:02
After last weekend’s tournament was cancelled because of wintry weather, the Georgetown softball team will be back on the field this weekend in South Carolina. The Hoyas (2-3) will participate in the University of South Carolina Tournament.
“I think it’s going to be a great tournament. I think there’s a nice variety of teams,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said.
Georgetown will play its first game against Gardner-Webb (1-7) on Friday. The Runnin’ Bulldogs have struggled thus far this season,
Georgetown will also face UNC–Wilmington (4-3), whose freshman Merritt Wilkinson was named Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Week last week, when she went 5-for-8 with 4 RBIs in four games.
Games against Boston University (0-0) and Michigan State (2-5) will round out the weekend for the Hoyas.
But Conlan is less concerned with the other teams and prefers to focus on her own squad.
“We’re more worried about focusing on our game than somebody else’s, and when we do that, we put ourselves in a good situation,” she said.
While Georgetown faces tough competitors this weekend, Conlan wants to make sure that the Hoyas can execute their game plan before trying to stop the other teams from doing so themselves.
“Every team that we’re going to play on our schedule is going to be a tough one, whether or not they’re coming off wins or losses,” Conlan said. “I think we do a pretty good job of approaching one game at a time, one inning at a time, one pitch at a time, and seeing how the game develops from there.”
Georgetown had a good opportunity to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses at its previous tournament two weeks ago where it went 2-3, winning its first and last games of the weekend.
“I loved our first weekend, I thought we had a great start. I want to continue that,” Conlan said. “I think there were some things we needed to clean up on defense and continue to get good solid pitching efforts, and we need to get our bats consistently going, so I think that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking to get better every time we’re out on the field.”
The Blue and Gray has received consistent pitching from their two starters, juniors Lauren O’Leary (1-1) and Megan Hyson (1-2) as well as solid relief appearances from senior Rachel Nersesian.
The Hoyas are coming off of an unexpected weekend off after the Longwood Tournament, which would have consisted of four games for the Hoyas, was cancelled because of a winter storm. For Conlan, the sudden schedule changed offered both benefits and challenges.
“I think the girls got a nice well-deserved weekend off, which is very unusual in our season,” Conlan said. “Unfortunately, it came early, but we’re making it work. I think when you play an outdoor sport you just have to understand there will be weather issues at times. But we had a good week at practice, and we took advantage of them being on campus by getting in some practices and a little rest as well.”
With all the time off in between games, the team loses valuable opportunities to face live pitching; but as was evident in its Florida tournament, often all that’s needed is a little time to warm up out of the gate.
“Early on in the tournament in Florida we struggled, and we got better as the weekend went on because we got more at-bats and felt more comfortable in the box,” Conlan said. “I’d like to build off what we did in the first weekend and come back with a few W’s.”