With a 4-3 win against Michigan State at the Gamecock Invitational on Feb. 16 in Columbia, S.C., it seemed Georgetown’s softball team might have finally found its footing. The three consecutive losses that followed ruined any momentum the Hoyas had from their win against LIU Brooklyn on Feb. 11.
Following the team’s win against Michigan State (3-6) last Friday, Georgetown (2-7) fell 8-4 to Mercer (8-2), 13-4 to Southern Illinois (4-4) and 5-3 to South Carolina (10-1).
For Head Coach Pat Conlan, this weekend’s 1-3 performance was another display of the team’s inconsistency.
“We started off this past weekend the same way we ended last weekend, and we struggled a little bit on Saturday. I thought we played fairly well on Sunday,” Conlan said in an interview with The Hoya. “I think the key for us right now is consistency. Can we put a good game of softball together every time we step out of the field?”
The Hoyas have allowed eight or more runs in four of their nine games this season. In every loss this weekend, Georgetown had at least one error.
“Our game is about catching and throwing and when we do that well we’re never going to end. When we put a couple of errors up on the board, we allow people to score runs that they shouldn’t be and that’s been our downfall [in] the catching and throwing piece.” Conlan said.
In their win against Michigan State, the Hoyas did not have any errors. During this game, they saw solid production from several of the team’s rookies. Freshmen infielders Nene Campos and Savannah Jones each scored a run and went 2-3 and 2-4 at the plate, respectively. The three out of four runs Georgetown scored against Michigan State came from freshmen.
While the freshmen were vital to the victory against Michigan State, the relative inexperience of the young players — who represent six of the team’s 20 players — leaves the team with a steep learning curve to overcome.
“We have some new players,” Conlan said. “We’re really good playing with each other.”
To be successful, however, players must “learn how to win games, make the big plays when they need to be made and get the clutch hits when they need to. Those are the things that we’re working on right now,” Conlan continued.
Conlan’s concerns appeared in the game against South Carolina. Although the Hoyas fell into a 5-1 hole at the end of the fourth inning, it looked like they might make a comeback. While the team got two runs in the seventh and held South Carolina scoreless in the last three innings, Georgetown fell short of pulling out the victory.
In games like the one against Southern Illinois, however, it was more than a matter of making key plays, as the Hoyas allowed six runs in the second inning to the Salukis.
The team’s mistakes are not about ability. Rather, to Conlan, they are a matter of nerves and inexperience.
“When you’re playing and you’re afraid to make a mistake, in that’s when you’re free to make a mistake,” Conlan said. “So I think it’s a combination of everything and settling in and be comfortable in your position and so on. We’re very capable. It is not about: Can we do this or can’t we do this.”
Through the team’s struggles, Conlan remains positive about the season.
“We’re playing Big Ten schools and SEC schools,” Conlan said. “I understand that it’s going to be really difficult for us, but hopefully playing against those types of programs will help us once we get into the conference, and at the end of the day that’s the most important thing, for us is to be ready to compete in the Big East.”
Georgetown is back in action at the Chanticleer Showdown in Conway, S.C., from Friday, Feb. 23 to Sunday, Feb. 25.