Softball Hopes to Turn Corner

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It was another up-and-down weekend for Missouri Western softball, as they dropped three of four conference games this past weekend on the road.
Western started off the weekend on Friday with a doubleheader in Warrensburg, Missouri, where they took on the conference rival Jennies of the University of Central Missouri.
Game one was a hard-fought battle, with both teams riding pitching performances to a low-scoring affair. Central Missouri was clinging to a 2-0 lead until the Jennies broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the game by a score of 4-1. Timely hitting proved to be the key in this one, as sophomore pitcher Kenzie Hilzer pitched well, limiting a high-powered Jennies offense to only two earned runs on seven hits while allowing zero walks. Hilzer and Western were unable to overcome three errors defensively that ended up being the difference in the game. Despite the disheartening results, Hilzer knows it is a long season and just how quickly momentum can change in the league.
“Honestly, we’re just trying to take it day-by-day,” Hilzer said. “The start is just as important as the middle and the ending, and all we can do is try to keep the same mindset each game.”
Game two was a very similar story, with freshman Kaili Hinds instead taking the loss 4-2 while throwing a complete game. At the plate, senior Rebekah Mueller went 2-2 on the day with four walks and a run scored. Sophomore Markee Brown drove in two runs without a hit.
Saturday saw Western travel down to Bolivar, Missouri, to take on the Bearcats of Southwest Baptist University.
Western was unable to stop their negative momentum from carrying over from the previous day, as the Bearcats scored two early runs that Western was unable to catch up to, leading to a 4-2 Bearcat win. Errors continued to be a factor for Western, with two costly mistakes leading to more opportunities for the Bearcats to pull ahead.
Game two, however, Western was able to wake up and shake off the bad juju they had been carrying. Western dominated in all facets of the game, stomping the Bearcats by the score of 15-0 after just five innings.
In the circle, Hinds threw a gem, going the whole five innings while only allowing one hit. Senior Riley Wilson was 3-5 at the plate with two RBIs, while scoring three runs of her own.
“This year has been a different experience for everyone involved,” Wilson said. “The MIAA has been crazy this year and anything is possible at this point. We have seen what this team is capable of, and if we play to our potential and play up to our Griffon standards, then we will be just fine.”
Western returned home last Thursday and would sweep Missouri Sothern in a doubleheader. Junior outfielder Shelby Uhl blasted three total homeruns that day, as Western won by the scores of 13-2 and 7-4.

Western plays Fort Hays State in a doubleheader Thursday at the Spring Sports Complex at 4 and 6 p.m.