Softball struggling at home

Softball struggling at home

First baseman Stephanie Likos prepares to swing during a 2012 regular season game. Likos and the Wolverines had secured a 20-12-1 record heading into Friday’s doubleheader against Northern Colorado. Kevin Bryan/UVU Review

After nearly two months on the road to start the season, the women’s softball team came back home to Wolverine Field to face the next 12 home games that were ahead. UVU entered the stretch on a five-game winning streak and winning eight of their last nine games.

 

The home slate started with a doubleheader against the University of Kansas City, Missouri, where the Wolverines split the doubleheader as their second game resulted in a 10-7 victory following their 8-9 loss.

 

Early in the season, head coach Todd Fairbourne expressed his concerns with the offensive play of the team, and following Wednesday night’s 6-1 loss against then 15th ranked Hawaii, the concerns weren’t eliminated.

 

“[Hawaii] has a good ball club [but] I just don’t think we got overwhelmed,” Fairbourne said. “The kids have to play to the abilities they have and make some adjustments to put the ball in playable positions.”

 

Sophomore Amanda Robinson who, following Wednesday’s game, had a .317 average, holds UVU’s best batting average. Collectively, the Wolverines earned three hits off their 23 bats as they scored one run.

 

Since the home game debut in late March, UVU has won two of its last eight games at home, in most cases losing by a small margin in the late inning while only scoring 20 total runs this season at home.

 

“We’ve dropped some close games at the end and that can be attributed to a lot of things,” Fairbourne said. “I was encouraged by a lot of the swings today. But the biggest trend is that we need to continue to get better offensively and make sure we stay strong when it gets a little tough late in the game.”

 

Despite the loss and lack of offense, Fairbourne thought they made the proper adjustments in order to put balls in playable positions. He also said he saw a lot of potential in his team and ways the team can succeed, one of which is pitcher Tiffany Mills.

 

“I thought Mills, aside from the walks, pitched very, very well,” Fairbourne said. “There is a lot of ability there and we just have to build off this and do what we can to take care of business.”

 

Mills currently holds a 2.25 ERA and sits at 10-8 on the season. As UVU prepares to play neighboring school Utah State on Tuesday, they will look to improving offensive plays along with growing their pitching position.

 

“I think if the kids can figure it out, they would realize they’re a pretty good ball club,” Fairbourne said. “They did a lot of good things today, but it’s about thinking ahead of time and knowing the situation.”

 

By Kevin Olsen
Sports Writer

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