The Seton Hall women’s softball team (15-19, 4-4) will return to action this weekend when they hit the road to take on Creighton (15-9, 2-5).
The series with the Bluejays, who are sitting in seventh place in the Big East standings, comes at an opportune time for the Pirates, who have won four of their last five and are looking to chase down conference leaders St. John’s and DePaul.
But despite the hot play of late, head coach Paige Smith feels there are still of areas of her team’s game that need to be addressed.
“We’re focusing on not giving up free bases,” Smith said. “Free bases are anything in terms of hit by pitch, walk or not going for the lead out, valuing the run. So, a lot of our practices and a lot of the things that we’ve been doing have centered around making sure that we’re limiting any free chances for the other team.”
On the offensive side, the Pirates have relied on senior outfielder Sara Haefeli, whose 11 homeruns is second on the team to freshman Alexis Walkden. But it is Sara’s experience that sets her apart from the rest.
“She’s (Sara) just that consistent person on the team that everyone’s can look to, which is great,” Smith said. “I think everyone is starting to realize that softball relationship is just like every other relationship. The more you put into it, the more you’re going to get out of it.”
While Smith’s team has rallied around Haefeli and its six other seniors, the entire group as a whole have come together to keep the Pirates in the thick of the Big East race.
“Our team is centered around our entire senior class,” Smith said. “The beautiful thing around this team actually is even though the senior class is the anchor of the team, even the freshmen, everyone has taken a leadership role and have had their own moment to lead. It’s a team in every sense of the word.”
On the defensive side, and one of those seven total seniors previously mentioned, pitcher Danielle DeStaso is a name coach Smith is turning to in the upcoming series with Creighton.
“We’ve gotten a lot of great production on the mound from Danielle DeStaso as of late,” Smith said. “She’s really come into her own and she’s feeling really confident and I expect only the best out of her.”
The first two games of the three game set will be Saturday, April 11. First pitch for game one is 1 p.m. while game two starts at 3:30 p.m. The series finale will be Sunday, April 12., at 12 p.m.
David Heim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @davidheim12.