|Posted February 9, 2008|
Pack not up to speed on first day of Preseason Tournament
PUEBLO - It was obvious to the participants in the six-team
CSU-Pueblo Preseason Softball Tournament, which began Saturday,
that the ThunderWolves' home field, Rawlings Field, was undergoing
a major facelift. Caution tape and detour directions were scattered
across the facility as the final stages of renovation to the field,
which included a synthetic turf backstop, signalling that the field
wasn't quite up to peak condition.
The ThunderWolves softball team, unfortunately, was in much of the same state.
The Pack's pitching and hitting languished during their three games as the ThunderWolves won one of three to open their 2008 season. The Pack dropeed their season-opener to Fort Hays State, 4-2, then were schlacked by Metro State, 14-1, before righting the ship with a 5-2 win over Fort Lewis.
The ThunderWolves struggled offensively in the three games, either getting huge hits or no hits at all. The Pack netted three home runs over the three contests, but were just 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position during the first day of the tournament.
Pack coach Shane Showalter said that the Pack's lackluster performance on the field was equalled by their mental approach to the games, which was lacking, Showalter said.
"It wasn't bad enough that we were struggling pitching and hitting, but we had to compound it by having a bad approach to the game," Showalter said. "We were letting the bad at bat or error get to us, and they were wearing it all over their face."
Number-one pitcher Kelsey Swanberg had an up and down day, giving up key hits a close game in the loss to Fort Hays, but rebounded with a five-hitter in the Pack's 5-3 win over Fort Lewis, allowing the team to leave the day on a high note.
"As a pitcher, you have to make your living working ahead of batters, and she didn't do that during her first game," Showalter said. "She was working ahead of the batters in the third game, and she threw a good game."
The Pack's high point offensively was back-to-back home runs in the opener against Fort Hays, when Katie Johnson and Janine Tyler knocked out solo shots to give the Pack a 2-0 lead, but the offense stopped in its tracks after that. It didn't pick back up until JuCo transfer Ashley Aldrich popped a three-run shot against Fort Lewis that gave the Pack a 5-1 cushion that held for the remainder of the game.
The ThunderWolves will return to the field tomorrow for two contests against Regis and UC-Colorado Springs.