Pitching problems to blame for poor opening
The softball team began their 2010 season by going 1-4 at the UNC-Charlotte Green and White Tournament in North Carolina on Friday.
They suffered a 1-5 loss to UNC-Charlotte to start off the tournament.
Then the Hall fell twice in a row to Marshall 9-0 and 10-1. The Pirates finished the tournament with another loss in a rematch with Boston University, 5-14 (five innings).
Seton Hall assistant coach Bob Guerriero said the team had a tough schedule.
“Charlotte was undefeated and came out with one defeat and ended up winning the tournament,” Guerriero said. “Marshall played some very tough games before we got down there; they were like 8-2 coming in so they were a tough team to face too. BU won their conference last year and had 43 wins.”
A positive for Seton Hall was sophomore first baseman Kristen Kaelin, who was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for her performance. Kaelin hit an even .500 with seven RBI’s.
“I don’t know if they had a tournament MVP,” Guerriero said. “I don’t know if they had an all-tournament team but if there was she would have been a strong candidate for that.”
Sophomore catcher Nicole Loewenstein also had a productive series, hitting .400. Junior outfielder Nalin Bennett matched Loewenstein’s .400 average to help the team hit .279 as a whole.
“Overall out of the gate I think we did pretty well as far as our hitting,” Guerriero said. “I think we’re pretty satisfied, although there’s always room to get better.”
The pitching was not as effective for the Pirates. The staff combined for a 7.81 team ERA.
Guerriero contributed some of the struggles to the early season changes from practice to game.
“There’s a huge transition when you go from the gym to dirt and I think that had a little bit to do with it,” he said. “Coach [Ray] Vander May is the pitching coach and he’s identified a couple of other things we’re going to work on for this next tournament.”
Fortunately, help could be on the way in the form of freshman pitcher Hannah Hill. Hill missed the first tournament because of a finger injury. Guerriero said he still expects senior Ashley Forsyth to lead the staff for the Buzz classic, hosted by Georgia Tech, but for Hill to be worked in.
“The problem is she’s been off a little bit so she can’t just get right out there and start throwing again,” Vander May said. “So if coach plans on using her, which I would think he might be, might be more on a break in kind of basis, couple of innings here or there.”
The Pirates begin the Buzz Classic in Atlanta, Ga. on Sunday.
Joshua Jongsma can be reached at email@example.com