Motto of the weekend: "Make the Pirates walk the plank!"
We did just that in the opening weekend of Conference play as we won the series against ECU. All season we have been talking about pulling together and winning games in a full team effort. This weekend was one of the best all-around team efforts we have had thus far. Not only did we have stellar pitching performances, but our defense was solid and our hitters won the battle in games 2 and 3 by making timely adjustments against one of the top pitchers in CUSA.
ECU sparked a fire in us without even knowing it before game 1 even started. After introducing the starting line-up, we all toed the 3rd base foul line only to watch a highlight video of ECU winning the 2010 conference championship. We were already fired up to win the series prior to this, but afterwards we were fired up to make a statement: It's 2011, and it's our year! Out with the old, in with the new!
We failed the first game to get runners on and score any runs. The Pirates came up with a few timely hits and were able to push enough runs across the board to take the win. Tough loss but we knew we weren't out. We talked about the adjustments we needed to make at the plate and we were ready to come out the second game with a new mind set.
In games 2 and 3, our bats came back to life. Jessica (Phillips) and Ashleigh (King) were our clutch hitters this weekend as they both picked up a pair of RBI's. They combined for all 4 of our RBI's this weekend. It's good to see not only an upperclassman but a freshman step up for us and get the job done! This depth in our hitting line-up will win a lot of games for us.
As expected, Game 3 was a nail-biter. With no surprise, their ace who shut us down in Game 1 was back on the mound. We matched her up with our senior secret weapon Janelle "Nelly" Valle! As a ritual before every Valle start, the infield huddled and opened play with a loud and proud, "It's Nelly time!" Our weapon was loaded and ready to fire! Janelle owned ECU's hitters as she threw an impressive 1-hitter. Senior leader Maddie (McKinley) was the spark that proved to be the game winning run. She smoked a triple to put herself in scoring position for Jessica (Phillips) to once again step up for us and pick up the RBI. Although this is all we needed to take the win, we continued to collect hits off of ECU. In Game 3 we tallied 5 hits. We collected more hits in this game alone, than we have in the past 3 games combined!
This week we take on Mississippi Valley State at home and then gear up for our first home series against Houston. After being on the road for the past 5 weeks, we are eager to get back on our own turf and win some games at home! I think the girls would agree that it will feel good to be back in our own beds for a couple of weeks, as well! Hotel beds get old pretty quick! Looking forward to "Taking It to the Jungle" this week!
Heather Mott #10