Although the sun shined bright in the sky and the stands were filled with fans, the Dixie State University softball team failed to take victory over Notre Dame de Namur University in its double-header Saturday.
Dixie State was handed two straight losses 4-5 and 4-11.
“Obviously we’re not real happy about the outcome,” said freshman infielder Rochelle Jenkins, an elementary education major from Mira Loma, Calif. “We just didn’t play our game. We didn’t back our pitchers up, and we didn’t hit like we do. We just should have done better.”
This was the first time the team has been swept at home since its transition from a junior college.
“We pretty much didn’t come to play,” said sophomore center Marla Reiter, a business major from Rolinda, Calif. “We felt confident that we were ready to play, but the enthusiasm and the fire wasn’t there. I think we beat ourselves.”
In the first game, Notre Dame scored all five runs in the third inning. After a walk, one out and a Red Storm fielding error, NDNU’S senior infielder Mary Ortega stepped up to the plate and hammered a 0-2 pitch over the left field fence.
DSU had its chance to get the third out after a single and a groundout, but it missed the chance as junior pitcher Matty Snow allowed another walk that was followed by a double to give the Argonauts the 5-2 lead.
The Storm later added runs to the board in the fifth as freshman infielder Autumn Woodfall tripled down the right field line and was later brought home.
The final run came in when Woodfall hit a homer in the seventh to cut the lead 4-5, but DSU failed to score another run the remainder of the game.
“When we got in the box, it was like we were scared to hit and scared to play,” Reiter said. “There’s no reason for that. We’re a better team than [Notre Dame], and we just should have showed up.”
The Argonauts took control the second game as they picked up four runs in the first, two in the second, and three more in the fourth.
DSU tried to come back as sophomore outfielder Courtney Hine, senior first baseman Anna Cue and Reiter each had two hits. One of Reiter’s hits was a two-run home run in the fifth that gave the team hope, but that hope didn’t help much as it finished the game with the 4-11 loss.
“We just never got that fire to get on a role and get something going,” Reiter said.
The Storm step on the plane Wednesday for their 10-game road trip to Hawaii.
“I know that we’re going to pull our stuff together, and when we hop on that plane we’re going to be ready to play… because no body likes to lose,” Jenkins said. “I think [NDNU] was a good humbling experience.”
The team faces University of Hawaii-Hilo for a double header Thursday at 3 and 5 p.m. Hilo is 13-10 for the overall season with a 8-6 record at home.
“We know Hawaii is going to be tough,” Reiter said. “We’re not going to think of it as, ‘We’re going to be in Hawaii and it’s going to be fun in the sun.’ It’s tough to play there and we want to end up 10-0. So the next two days we have to practice we’re just going to work on the basics and try and stay pumped.”
DSU has been working on ground balls, pitching with runners on, and working in game situations to get ready for the long Hawaii trip.
“The area is just kind of hard to play in just because it’s Hawaii, so we’re definitely going to have to bring our A game,” Jenkins said.
The Storm plan to learn from the loss to Notre Dame and use it against teams in Hawaii and come home with wins on the plate.
“It either makes or breaks the team,” Jenkins said. “You pick things up and turn the season around and go win, or it breaks your team and you don’t.”