Softball continues road trip with Las Vegas tournament
The softball team travels to Las Vegas for the six-game, three-day Eller Media Tournament hosted by the University of Las Vegas.
Seton Hall enters the tournament with 3-5 record through their first two weekends.
“They are not getting blown away,” head coach Ray Vander May said. “They are in every game they play.”
All of the teams that the Pirates will face in the tournament are teams they are not familiar with, which according to senior catcher Nicole Lowenstein, could be a good thing for the team.
“It’s an advantage not knowing what to expect,” Loewenstein said. “There is less thinking about it, and you play a more loose game.”
The Pirates open the tournament against Florida Atlantic on Friday.
The Owls have a 3-11 record and have gone on two losing streaks, six games and four games, to start the season, but come into the tournament off of a win against Michigan State on Sunday.
Florida Atlantic is led by junior pitcher/first baseman Stephanie Call who has a .422 batting average and two home runs.
In their second game of the day, the Pirates will face UNLV, a team they have not played since 2008.
Seton Hall has a 1-2 career record against the Rebels.
UNLV enters the tournament with a .500 record over its first 14 games played.
The Pirates will face the Rebels twice during the weekend.
Saturday will be the Pirates’ second day with a doubleheader when they face New Mexico State and Illinois.
New Mexico State started the season on a six-game winning streak, however they come into the tournament having lost four of their last five games at the Cathedral City Classic, in Palm Springs, Calif.
The Aggies have an 11-6 record so far this season.
Illinois, with a record of 6-7, will be the last opponent the Pirates face before their final game against UNLV.
Junior pitcher Gay Pepper leads the Fighting Illini with a 2.15 ERA, four complete games and three shutouts this season.
According to Vander May, since the last tournament, the team has practiced drills and made adjustments on the outside pitch hitting opposite field, something Lowenstein said is helping the team get better.
“Each tournament we have been improving and learning something from each game,” Loewenstein said. “We just need to cut down on simple mistakes in key situations and continue to be aggressive. When we are aggressive, we are a better team.”
With the aggressiveness the team has shown, Vander May sees a lot of positives.
“There are a lot of bright spots right now,” Vander May said. “We are always looking at one game at a time and continuing to improve.”
Freshman outfielder/pitcher Danielle DeStaso has been one of those positives and “has done everything asked of her,” according to Vander May.
First pitch of the tournament for the Pirates is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. versus Florida Atlantic.
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.