After falling to the University of Illinois-Springfield Prairie Stars in both games of the double header on April 7, Head Softball Coach Melissa Frost said that the team is getting back to the basics. Both teams were tied for first in the GLVC, each with 10 wins and two losses in conference games.
After giving up both games in the double header, UIS took the first place slot in the GLVC and left UIndy with an overall record of 26-8.
In the first game, the Hounds fell 7-1 to the Prairie Stars. The Hounds scored their lone run in the 3rd inning with an RBI by senior outfielder Jessie Noone, while Illinois Springfield scored all seven of their runs in the 6th inning.
In the second game of the day, the Hounds put more runs on the board, but still fell to the Prairie Stars. The Hounds led for most of the first five innings, before the Prairie Stars pulled ahead, winning 11-8.
Junior infielder Taylor Podschweit said that the Prairie Stars are a strong hitting team, which made it difficult to hold their number of runs batted in.
“I know in the past, they were hitting us last year, so they have some really good players on the team,” Podschweit said. “They have a really good pitcher, coach [Frost] said. So we’re really just dialing in, making sure that we keep hitting the ball hard, putting the ball in play, and letting them make mistakes.”
On March 30, the Greyhounds played two games against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers, who going into the games, Podschweit said was on a winning streak.
“We came in, we knew that they were beating good teams,” Podschweit said. “Coach [Frost] said they’re an average team at best, but they were doing well. They were on the up and coming.”
UIndy scored first in game one, loading the bases and scoring two runs off an RBI walk from freshman infielder Gianni Iannantone and a sacrifice fly from Podschweit in the bottom of the second. The Rangers responded at the top of the second, scoring three, and the Hounds tied the score at the bottom of the fourth off a double from Noone and a single from Podschweit.
An unearned run from Parkside at the top of the fifth put them in the lead. With the following three innings scoreless, the game ended 4-3 in favor of the Rangers.
According to Podschweit, the team was hitting, but leaving too many runners on base. Frost said that the team played less than average in their first game.
“We just did not play well,” Frost said. “We just did not play UIndy softball and it really showed and, unfortunately, on the scoreboard it showed as well.”
The Hounds came back in their second game of the day, defeating the Rangers 5-4. Once again, the Hounds scored first in the bottom of the second with a home run hit by freshman catcher Taylor Danielson, but allowed the Rangers to earn four runs at the top of the third. The remainder of the game remained scoreless for the Rangers, but UIndy added four at the bottom of the 6th off a home run from Iannantone and hits from Danielson and freshman pitcher Haylie Foster.
With four weekends left in the regular season, the team has started to look forward to the post-season. Podschweit said that she is looking forward to seeing the team compete.
“I don’t want to think too far ahead, but I have all the confidence in the world that this team is going to make it far in the postseason, as long as we keep doing our thing every single weekend, each game,” Podschweit said. “…This is a fun team to be on. Everybody gets along well. Everybody is so positive. And everybody works their butt of every single day, so I’m looking forward to that.”
On April 14, the Hounds will face the Truman State University Bulldogs at Baumgartner Field. The game also coincides with the annual Team Liam Day, played for Liam Ealy, the nephew of alumna Megan Slightom, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Frost said that she hopes people come out to support Ealy and the team.
“What a great day and a great cause to play for,” Frost said. “[You] really just realize how lucky student athletes are to be able to participate once you see this young man who is just amazing, and his family is amazing, so hopefully people just come out and support.”
Next the Hounds will travel to Romeoville, Ill. for double header against the Lewis University Flyers. The games will begin at 1 p.m.