No. 17 Western softball wrapped up its regular season by splitting a doubleheader with No. 3 Central Oklahoma on the road over the weekend. The Griffons record sits at 38-9 on the season.
“We are starting this dangerous habit of playing well in game one and not being able to score in game two,” coach Jen Bagley said. “Those are some of the things we are talking about how to fix going into the conference tournament.”
Pitcher Jackie Bishop allowed just six hits and two runs as she improved her record to 22-2 on the season as the Griffons got the 3-2 win in game one.
“UCO has firepower, and I thought Jackie did a great job,” Bagley said. “Kat Steponovich who has caught every game for Jackie did great job calling the game behind the plate.”
Blair Stalder went 2-for-4 including two crucial RBIs in the fifth inning to put the Griffons in the lead.
Game two didn’t go as well as the first one as Western was blanked 5-0, unable to produce runs with Annalee Rubio on the mound.
“Rubio has pitched only allowing a couple runs and we haven’t been able to score runs,” Bagley said. “It’s more symptomatic of game two than it is that we have a different mentality with Bishop or Rubio on the mound.”
“We had a game plan, we executed it and we felt great,” Bagley said. “The problem was we felt great and we didn’t maintain that intensity in the second game.”
Despite an extremely successful season, Bagley believes there are some adjustments to be made in order to ensure the Griffons’ post-season success.
“Some adjustments we are going to have to make involve how we are handling our time off in between games,” Bagley said. “There’s a saying that the patterns that you are in that get you to the end of the year aren’t the same as the things that you have to do to do well once you get to the postseason.”
The Griffons are matched up with their rival, Northwest Missouri State, in the first round of the MIAA Tournament April 26 in Overland Park, Kan.
“We are excited going into the conference tournament and we feel really good about our chances against our conference opponents.” Bagley said. “We know we have to do and what it takes to do it so we aren’t in desperation mode, we just have to do it.”