By Joel Weckerly, Sports Editor
The softball team went in to last weekend’s four-game home series with Texas Woman’s with a clear goal in mind: win at least three games over the third-place Pioneers to vault fourth-place ACU ahead of TWU-and likely into the LSC Post-Season Tournament.
Texas Woman’s had other plans, winning three of the four games over the Wildcats, who couldn’t find their groove with the absence of injured center fielder Michelle Gereaux.
Gereaux, a junior, broke her leg April 5 at Eastern New Mexico, and her absence last weekend forced the Wildcats to make last-minute roster and lineup changes. The results weren’t good. TWU won both games of Friday’s doubleheaders with scores of 5-4 and 10-1, respectively. ACU came back in Saturday’s opener with a 4-2 win, but TWU prevailed again in game two, 3-2.
When all was said and done, Texas Woman’s stood in third place at 10-6 (32-17 overall), while ACU was three games back at 7-9 (24-25 overall).
“We’re very disappointed,” head coach Carol Tabor said of the Cats’ bad fortune, which could keep her team out of the postseason for another year. “It was such a critical weekend, and we did not do well. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.
“Having Gereaux out was hard; we had to make a lot of switches,” she said. Indeed, Gereaux had helped the Cats this season with her bat (.309 batting average, nine RBI) and her glove (.971 fielding percentage).
Before the weekend, ACU was in control of its own destiny; if it won the majority of the games against Texas Woman’s and also in its final divisional home series with Angelo State April 25, ACU would have a guaranteed playoff spot. But now, the Cats must sweep Angelo and hope TWU loses all of its remaining LSC South games.
“You always like to have control and be in the driver’s seat of what happens to you,” Tabor said. “Now we have to rely on others to determine our finish, but at least we still have a chance.”
The Cats will get their chance, but not before they tune up with a non-conference home doubleheader against Incarnate Word Saturday.
Tabor said that despite the disappointment the team is feeling as a result of last weekend, the players will bounce back positively.
“They’ll respond great,” she said. “We’re all gonna pick ourselves up, take care of Incarnate Word and prepare for Angelo knowing it’s all on the line. I have full confidence that we’ll be ready. We don’t really have a choice.”