Pitching still in focus as Pirates head to Las Vegas

Seton Hall’s troubles on the mound still need to work themselves out as the Pirates head to Las Vegas this weekend.

“It’s pretty easy to see that the focus needs to be pitching,” head coach Paige Smith said. “As an entire softball unit, we’ve taken ownership of what’s happened and we’re looking to rectify it.”

The Pirates gave up a combined 48 runs last weekend, dropping all four games at the Arizona State Diamond Devil Invitational.

Seton Hall is now 3-8 on the season and has been mercied in six of the team’s first 11 games of the season, including all four last weekend.

The team closed out the weekend with a 16-1 mercy loss against Boston College.

Junior pitcher Casey Moses gave up eight hits and six runs. The lone Seton Hall run was scored off a solo home run from junior outfielder Sara Haefeli.

On Saturday, The Hall surrendered 20 runs in a pair of losses to Drake University by a 6-4 final and to Idaho State in a 14-5 mercy loss.

At the plate, senior Meredith Henze continued her strong offensive output, going 3-for-7 in Saturday’s pair, adding two RBIs against Drake.

The team opened the invitational Friday, losing 12-1 in a five-inning mercy loss to Arizona State.

Consistency on the mound is critical as the Pirates move forward. They will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the UNLV Eller Media Stadium Classic this weekend, opening Friday with a set of games against New Mexico State and Binghamton.

Weber State and host UNLV will face The Hall on Saturday, and a second meeting with Binghamton will close out the week- end on Sunday.

Aside from pitching, some silver lining heading into the Silver State is the team’s strong offensive output thus far.

“We are hitting really well,” Smith said. “We have got three kids that are hitting .400 and above.”

Junior outfielder Sara Haefeli went 4-for-8 on the weekend and said the group is working to find consistency in their game.

“We play better when we play as a cohesive unit,” she said.

Sophomore infielder Jackie DiPietro went 3-for-8 on the weekend in Arizona, adding RBIs Saturday versus Idaho. She says the key to finding consistency and winning is having some fun and working together.

“When we get uptight and worry about the little things, that’s when stuff starts snowballing,” DiPietro said. “When we’re just all playing and having fun and working together, everything goes fine, and we start winning.”

The team will try to do just that as they prepare to play New Mexico State in the opening game of the invitational.

After New Mexico, Seton Hall will face Binghamton University at 6:45 p.m. Friday. On Sunday, the Pirates face Weber State at 4:30 p.m. and UNLV at 9 p.m. The team wraps up their weekend on Sunday against Binghamton at noon.

Neal McHale can be reached at neal.mchale@student.shu.edu.

Author: Neal McHale

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