Pacific Lutheran University’s softball team starts their season off right with big wins against ranked opponents in Texas.
Two weekends ago, PLU took the diamond for the first time this season in unfamiliar territory. The Lutes had the opportunity to showcase their relatively young squad against proven and seasoned competition.
Their first big test of the season was against top ranked UT Tyler who had placed second place in last year’s NCAA Division III Tournament. The Lutes held strong and played well, but ultimately lost 4-0.
Two days later, the Lutes bounced back and beat fifth ranked East Texas Baptist 7-1 with great offensive and defensive performances.
One of the main defensive threats for the Lutes this season is their pitching in part due to sophomore pitcher Marissa Miller.
“I think we played really well and we played against the number one team and the number five team in the nation,” Miller said. “We played some really tough competition that will get us ready for conference play.”
By allowing them to play the highly ranked teams, the trip provided great learning opportunities for the Lutes before their conference season begins on February 27. Head Coach Lance Glasoe found the experience to be helpful in illuminating areas of improvement for his team.
“Offensively trying to figure out ways to score runs consistently,” Coach Glasoe stated. “[We need to figure out] how do we put together a seven inning game where we put pressure on the defense the whole game.”
However, after going 4-2 against tough opponents, there were positives in how the Lutes played which they will continue to utilize in the upcoming weeks.
“The best things I saw was how competitive we were this early season especially with having those young players,” Coach Glasoe said. “Some of the newcomers did a nice job for us and the veterans did a nice job as well.”
At one point in the weekend, the Lutes infield consisted of four first-year players who all performed well for their first outing as a collegiate softball players. First-years Kathryn Hatlen, Becca Sorensen, Bailey Plumb, Anna Overland and Kayla Russell all utilized their skills in the infield, in the circle, and with their bats to secure quality wins.
Overall, the experience was a positive one for Coach Glasoe and his team.They will look to continue their winning efforts when they face Pacific on February 27 and 28. In conference play, the Lutes will look to improve on areas of weakness and strengthen their already stellar defense and pitching.
“Pitching and defense are where we need to be to be at the top of our conference,” Coach Glasoe said. “We can compete with anybody.”