Two weeks ago, the ACU softball team was sitting pretty in the Lone Star Conference South Division standings with only four series remaining on its schedule before the LSC Post-Season Tournament.
But after going 4-4 over the course of those series, the Wildcats now must win at least two of the three games in their upcoming series with Tarleton State on Friday and Saturday at Wells Field, and they need to receive some outside help in order to return to the LSC Post-Season Tournament.
ACU, Texas Woman’s and Tarleton State tie for fourth place in the LSC South Division standings, with each team carrying a 9-9 conference record into this weekend. Texas Woman’s will host first-place Angelo State this weekend in a critical series for the Pioneers’ post-season aspirations.
Not only does ACU need to take the series from the TexAnns, but the Wildcats also need some help in order to prolong its 2011 campaign.
The top four teams from each division of the LSC will advance to the conference tournament.
If Angelo State sweeps Texas Woman’s, ACU would need to win two of the three games against Tarleton in order to claim at least fourth place in the division.
If ACU sweeps the TexAnns, the Wildcats would need Angelo State to beat TWU once in order to clinch a tournament field spot.
And lastly, if ACU wins twice, ASU sweeps TWU and last-place Eastern New Mexico University miraculously sweeps West Texas A&M University, then ACU and the Lady Buffs would be tied in the LSC South standings. That scenario would give ACU the No. 3 seed because they took two of three from WTAMU in head-to-head competition.
But Head Coach Bobby Reeves says that all his team can worry about is putting the best product on the field for themselves.
“We can’t worry about the Angelo State or West Texas A&M score, we have to focus on our game and not let outside distractions hinder our performance,” Reeves said. “We can’t afford to get caught up in anything but what is happening at our field.”
The ‘Cats currently are riding a losing skid, as they have lost their last three games, but those previous results are not what catcher Erin Gilliland said the team is focusing on.
“We have a clear mindset going into this weekend. We are putting all of our efforts and time into preparing for Tarleton State and looking into anything else,” she said. “If we play our game and focus on the task at hand, we’ll be fine.”
Producing offensively is what Reeves said will be the key factor this weekend.
“We’ve got to continue hitting the ball. That is our team’s strong point, and we’ll need it against Tarleton State,” he said.
Tarleton’s future remains at stake with this series, as it vies for a post-season spot as well with an identical record to ACU.
The TexAnns come into the matchup on a high note, having beaten No. 23 West Texas A&M in walk-off fashion last Saturday on Senior Day. Tarleton has yet to be swept on the season as well.
Game one will begin Friday at 7 p.m. with the series set to finish Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.