The softball team is heading to sunny San Diego this weekend to soak up some sun and continue their strong play at the San Diego State Tournament.
The tournament is scheduled to run Friday, March 15th through Sunday, March 17th, and will feature five games for the lady Pirates.
The Pirates come into this tournament having won seven of their last nine, including taking three of four in the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational last weekend.
“The offense is really coming around,” first-year head coach Paige Smith said. “We’re looking to find a number two pitcher to really solidify our staff, and then I can really see things taking off from there.”
As coach mentions the offense coming together, the Pirates have had strong play of late coming from first baseman Alex Rabbetts and left fielder Colltey Sheldon. Rabbetts went two-for-three and drove in a run in an 8-4 victory over Coppin State on Saturday. In the next game of the day, Rabbetts drove in three more runs to propel the Hall to a 4-3 win over Princeton.
The hot performance could not have come at a better time for Seton Hall, who dropped three out of four at the Jacksonville University Invitational Tournament by a combined nineteen runs.
“At the beginning (of the season) we were really tense, we were nervous, especially having a new coach,” sophomore left-fielder Colltey Sheldon said. “After a few games, most of us started loosening up, we started playing together as a team and things started coming together how we planned.”
Sheldon went two-for-three with two RBIs in a 3-2 win over George Washington on Sunday, March 10.
The Pirates open a double header on Friday, facing Texas Tech who comes in at 21-8 at 2:30 pm. They’ll have to contain a potent Red Raiders offense led by Katelyn Williams, who sports a .444 batting average with six homeruns.
Day one concludes for the Pirates with a matchup against a struggling Miami University of Ohio (2-13) at 7:30 pm.
On Saturday, the Pirates will face off against Texas-Arlington (12-8) at 2:30 p.m. The Pirates could face pitching aceTeri Lyles who brings and 11-2 record with a 1.76 era to the table.
Saturday night closes with host San Diego State (13-12) in the nightcap at 7:30 pm.
The team ends their tournament play in a Sunday matinee at 12:00 pm against Colorado State (9-12).
As the team is finding success on the field of late, Smith still stressed the importance of improvement during practice leading up to the tournament.
“We’re really focusing on a lot of live situations, live batters, as well as focusing on our short game,” Smith said.
The Pirates, who only connected for ten hits in both games combined against George Washington, will be looking to get more offense involved for the upcoming tournament.
“After our long week, we practiced a lot focusing on the smaller picture, getting our bunts and small game down because we know these are good teams that were facing,” Sheldon said.
Sheldon seemed to be on the same page with her coach’s viewpoint of getting the “short-game” improved.
“I think it will be a good test to see how far we’ve come and how far we need to go,” she added.
David Heim can be reached at email@example.com.