Softball encounters trouble closing out with one pitcher

By Nate Wilson-Traisman

After winning the season’s first four games, Macalester’s softball season has taken a sharp turn for the worse.
With a 1-9 MIAC record, the Scots have lost 15 of their last 16 games and, with only 12 games remaining, sit in 11th place in the conference.”We all think we should be doing better than we are,” Amanda Cagan ’10 said.
The Scots’ troubles were highlighted Tuesday, as they dropped a pair of close games to previously winless St. Benedicts. Macalester failed to hold their 2-1 lead in the final inning of game one, surrendering two St. Benedict runs and eventually losing 3-2.

“We’re having trouble finishing games,” Cagan said.

The second game picked up where the first ended. The Scots allowed 11 runs on 14 hits in the 11-6 defeat. Olivia Abbott ’10, Macalester’s lone pitcher, threw all 14 innings of the doubleheader, recording losses in both games. Abbot also led the Scot’s offensive attack, going 5 for 8 on the day.

The lack of pitching and overall depth (Macalester fields an anemic 11-player roster) has been a constant roadblock for the Scots. Number two starter Ali Nystrom ’10 has been unable to pitch due to a wrist injury, leaving only Abbot. An all-conference performer one year ago, Abbot has already eclipsed last year’s innings pitched total. With the conference doubleheaders and the absence of a second pitcher, Abbot has been required to do all of the work.

Additionally, Macalester has lost three conference games by one run, a statistic indicative of their inability to close out games.

“We need to make key plays, get key hits and finish games,” Cagan said.

Still, there have been bright spots in the loss-dominated season. Crystal Barriga ’10 is turning in a monster year, hitting .353 with 2 home runs and a whopping 22 RBI. Cagan and Nystrom are both having solid years at the plate as well. Cagan is hitting .281 with 4 doubles, and Nystrom is hitting .279.

Despite their 1-9 conference record, all is not lost for the Scots. With 12 games still to go, anything is possible.

“We have the potential.” Carly Klingensmith ’10 said. “We just have to put it together.” “It’s almost there.”

Macalester played host to St. Kates on Thursday. Scores were not available at press time. The Scots will travel to (2-6) Concordia on Saturday.