By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The ACU softball team went 2-3 over spring break against regional opponents Incarnate Word and No. 1 St. Mary’s, moving its record to 14-15 just before the start of Lone Star Conference South Division play.
The Wildcats kicked off their week Tuesday by sweeping a doubleheader at Incarnate Word with scores of 6-4 and 3-1, then lost all three games of a tripleheader at St. Mary’s Thursday and Friday, 6-4, 5-1 and 6-5, respectively.
“The most important thing I saw last week is that we continued to improve,” head coach Carol Tabor said. “That was evident in the games against St. Mary’s.”
Despite the losses, Tabor said the Cats stayed close with the top-ranked Rattlers in the first two games, and even held a 5-0 lead in the third game before letting them notch the one-run win in 11 innings.
“We should have won that game, but we made some mistakes and let them get back in it,” Tabor said. “I still thought we were very competitive with St. Mary’s, and I’m confident in our abilities as a team.”
“For playing a team as good as they were, we played well,” sophomore right fielder Katie Bryan said. “Playing a top-notch team like that always helps us to get better.”
ACU played host to New Mexico Highlands in a doubleheader Tuesday evening, and begins LSC South play Friday at Tarleton State in a four-game series that goes through Saturday. Tabor said that at this midpoint in the team’s season, she doesn’t want to be satisfied with its current record.
“We’re not content at all,” she said. “But with all the tough opponents we’ve played, we’re doing O.K. We’ve played some big dogs, we see where we are and we see where we need to be.”
Bryan agreed with her coach.
“We’re confident going into conference and we’re ready to win some games,” she said. “We’re going to play strong against these teams, and we’ll definitely do better than we did last year.”
Tabor said that despite the team’s sub-.500 mark, she and the players are looking at a clean slate going into division play.
“When you start conference, you’re 0-0,” she said. “It starts all over again for everyone. Our intentions from here on out are to win every ball game.”