Lady Blues softball struggles early in Oklahoma tournament

Eric Smith

The Lady Blues softball team spent the weekend in Durant, Okla. as part of the Southeastern Oklahoma South Central Shootout and picked up three more wins in the process.

Washburn began the week with a doubleheader versus Southeastern Oklahoma State on Thursday in which they blew leads in both to lose 6-4 and 5-4 in eight innings. While the Lady Blues were up 4-3 in the first game and gave up three runs late, the second was even more discouraging as the Savages scored the tying and go ahead runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

“It was a heartbreaking loss because we were up 4-2,” said Dani White, senior first basemen. “I think it’s because we have a young team and we’re still trying to mesh with each other, and we’re still trying to learn everybody’s strengths. It’s a matter of putting all aspects of hitting and defense together.”

Friday began the SOSU Shootout also known as “The Largest Division II Softball Tournament in the Nation.” According to the tournament page, the softball event featured 15 teams and 45 games. It also said to have ten NFCA top 25 teams from last season, seven from this season’s preseason poll, and three of the last eight NCAA Division II National Champions playing in this year’s tournament.

While all of that can seem overwhelming, for senior Maggie West, the rankings about the teams don’t matter.

“My mindset going into the game is not to really worry about the team because softball is such a game of inches,” said West, outfielder. “I mean I think we can compete with anybody in this country. I believe we proved it before. So I don’t pay attention to the rankings, honestly.”

Washburn began Friday by beating the No. 3 ranked team in the nation, St. Edward’s 6-1. The Lady Blues then lost the second game against Abilene Christian 4-2.

White also believes the tournaments with the top ranked teams aren’t scary and says that once the 4-12 Lady Blues learn how to win, they will be a tough team to beat.

“I don’t think it’s intimidating at all because I know how we can be,” said White. “We can compete with these teams. It’s just a matter that we don’t know how to pull out the win right now.”

Washburn picked up two more wins on Saturday run-ruling St. Mary’s 10-0 in five innings before beating Southwestern Oklahoma 8-4 in the second game.

The Lady Blues lost the final game of the weekend Sunday 5-2 versus Angelo State.

The Lady Blues will next be in action at 7 p.m. Friday in Joplin, Mo., versus Arkansas Tech as part of the Missouri Southern/Pittsburg State Border Battle. The tournament action continues 9 a.m. Saturday versus Nebraska-Omaha before playing Lincoln at 5 p.m. in the nightcap. The weekend ends with an 11 a.m. game Sunday versus Newman followed by a 3 p.m. showdown with Rockhurst.

“We have a long ways to g go in a long season and lots of mistakes to figure out and kind of come together on. Put things together as a team. I think we’re just kind of hit and miss on a few things where part of our game is going well. We have a lot of potential and are going to keep getting better as we go. That’s one thing. We’ve done better and improved every tournament and every game.”