Following a four-game series against Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., the UVU women’s softball team is still trying to find their groove with a young team as they sat at 3-3 heading into the North Carolina A&T Tournament (Feb. 24-26).
The Wolverines headed to St. George, Utah, two weeks ago to kick off their season with a two-game series against Southern Utah University. The series resulted in two wins for UVU, both starting with early leads Head coach Todd Fairbourne expressed his satisfaction with his players’ consistency regardless of game situations.
“I’m real happy with how we came out of the gates,” Fairbourne said. “Both games we scored in the first inning and it’s nice to make the other team chase, especially with the nature of our sport where runs aren’t easy to come by.”
The Wolverines’ largest challenge throughout the last two series has been their lack of variety at the pitching position. Junior Louisiana-Monroe transfer Tiffany Mills was the only pitcher to see playing time throughout the SUU series.
Game two of the Loyola Marymount series saw two different pitchers for the first time this season, Cassie Herrera and Megan Peay. Peay’s playing time came after her slow and ongoing recovery from a shoulder injury that prevented the pitcher from throwing during her offseason and against SUU two weeks ago.
As of Wednesday, Fairbourne hoped to increase Peay’s playing time along with starting her in one of the five game series heading into Greensboro, N.C., but expressed his hopes for Herrera and Mills to lead the team’s defense.
“We are going to need Tiffany Mills and Cassie Herrera, any of our pitchers to step up,” Fairbourne said. “Players just need to step up and manage themselves and continue to get better.”
Fairbourne opened the seasons with plans to work out the kinks on defense but he’s confident that brighter competition will come from the offensive side of UVU this season. The opening game to each series has seen the Wolverines start hot early. They scored three runs off of four hits against Loyola Marymount.
After losing three straight following a 3-0 record, Fairbourne’s goal is to keep the team sticking together when finger-pointing or self-doubt start to arise, helping the youthful team learn from their mistakes.
“This is all practice to some degree,” Fairbourne said. “It’s practice in game situations that have game intensity that we can’t simulate. We are hoping that we just continue to make things to define ourselves.”
By Kevin Olsen