Softball in danger of missing postseason play

April 13, 2015

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

After doubleheaders against Metro State April 11 and 12, there are 10 games to play in the 2015 season.

UCCS sits at 14-17 overall, 12-14 in conference, good for eighth in the RMAC. The top eight teams make the conference tournament.

In his fifteenth season as head coach, Scott Peterson believes the team’s potential is present but the will to win is missing.

“We’re not happy where we are at right now,” said Peterson. “We have seen these kids almost every day since August, and we are better than what we are playing. Something is not transferring over into the games.”

Peterson realizes the youth of his team, with 12 freshmen (six of whom start).

“The old quote about the best thing about freshmen, is that they become sophomores,” he said. “It’s definitely a transition from the youth-ball they played, to the college level.”

But Peterson knows the team is still in playoff contention.

“We could be in a much worse situation. We could be in the cellar, with nothing to play for. There’s still a lot to play for, and we’re hoping we get it going,” said Peterson.

Senior captain Emily Jennings said the group is missing its potential.

“We are not taking to our ranking very well right now because we know we have a lot more talent than we are showing,” said Jennings. “We definitely still have a chance to get into the tournament.”

Despite a three game losing streak before the series against Metro, junior Dani Fonseca remains one of the most dangerous hitters in the RMAC. Fonseca has 12 homeruns this season, best in the conference.

“It depends on the situation I’m put in, whether there’s runners on or we’re winning or losing,” said Fonseca. “I only have two seasons of softball left so most of the time I just got up there and swing as hard as I can and hope for the best.”

“Dani, right now, is probably the most dangerous hitter in the league,” said Peterson. “When she puts a swing on the ball, it just goes.”

According to Peterson, the offense in the conference has increased during his tenure.

“The hitting has definitely changed,” said Peterson. “Our [earned run average] is a 6, we have to score 7 runs, which we can do that because we can’t ask our pitchers to shut out anyone because no one is shutting anyone out. It just doesn’t happen.”

“The bat technology has changed,” he added. “Every player on this team has hit a ball out of [our] park. If you put a good hit on the ball, it will go out. There’s just a lot of high scoring.”

Down the stretch, Fonseca and Jennings know the goal must be the playoffs.

“Our ultimate goal is always to make playoffs,” said Fonseca. “What we’re doing now and where we are, it needs to be one game at a time.”

“It’s one game at a time, and right now, definitely one inning at a time,” added Jennings.

After the series against Metro, UCCS returns home for a six-game home stand. Colorado Mines and Fort Lewis, the team directly below the Mountain Lions in the RMAC standings, visit April 18 and 19 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.