A tale of two seasons

Devin Daley

Freedom softball is showing early signs of resiliency in their season as the young team looks to find a way to string a few wins together. In the first full month of its season the team got off to a 5-8 start including a 2-5 record in the section.
The team’s success this year seems to be based solely off of its offense that makes teams pay for their mistakes. In their two section wins this month the girls have acquired a total of 17 hits in 48 at bats giving the team a batting average of .354. That number is even more significant when compared to their .125 batting average in their section losses. The offense’s importance can be further highlighted if you take the team’s OBP (On Base Percentage) into consideration which is .544 in section wins and .146 in losses. These are very polarizing numbers that prove that for these girls, when it’s good it’s great, but when it’s bad it can be tragic.
Whether or not the team’s offense is firing on all cylinders is significant to the team’s chances of winning due to the lackluster defensive performances that the team has put together this season. Through the team’s first 7 section games the team has allowed 65 runs where 27 of those runs have been unearned. This number comes out to 41 percent of the runs scored against them being caused by or at least helped along by errors in the field behind the pitchers. Although these errors won’t prove costly against teams like Sto-Rox who the Lady Bulldogs beat 23-0 on April 6, it will however hurt them against teams such as OLSH and Carlynton who are comparable to this Lady Bulldogs team.
A prime example of this was in the team’s 7-6 walk off win against OLSH in which Sophomore Lexi Halvin’s two RBI single propelled the team to victory. Although the team did win that game, five of the six runs that OLSH scored were unearned. Without these errors the team could have cruised to a comfortable 6-1 win instead of having the game be decided in the final inning.
It should be noted that Freshman pitcher Madison Slowinski and Sophomore pitcher Haley Velemirovich have suffered the most as a result of these errors. Although these two pitchers often put forth decent efforts they have often been let down by errors in the field behind them. Despite errors behind them being common each pitcher has winning efforts to their name as Velemirovich had a shutout in the team’s first section win against Sto-Rox and Slowinski pitching a dominant 16 strikeout performance in a non section win over Quaker Valley. In addition, Slowinski got the statistical win in a combined pitching effort against OLSH.
Regardless of how productive the offense is or how well the pitcher’s pitch this team will not be able to reach its full potential until it cuts down on the errors that keep leading to easy runs for their opposition. Although this team is better and morea talented than teams from past years, as they have shown through their two section wins, this team should strive to be even better than the current level they are playing at because their potential far exceeds what they have shown so far this season.