For Kim Staehle, the future is uncertain for the GW softball team. The second-year coach spoke of a bevy of adjustments needed for her squad in the wake of two clear-cut losses Sunday at the Mount Vernon campus. It was the team’s home opener and the first time the program has lost on such a day.
The Colonials lost 3-1 to Canisius University and 12-4 to University of Maryland-Baltimore County in a round robin tournament that comprised the third annual Colonial Classic. Unplayable conditions on Saturday forced the teams to abandon the typical two-day, four-team tournament format, and the Colonials’ final game, against UMBC, was called for darkness.
The game against Canisius only revealed the Colonial’s offensive weaknesses while defensive faults were to blame in the loss to UMBC. Base-running errors hurt the team until the fifth inning, when two GW players walked and sophomore Amanda Gabriel was able to secure the sole run on the Colonials’ side. GW was able to hold off Canisius with a decent defense until the second half of the fifth inning, when the Griffins took advantage of several fielding errors to secure three runs.
Staehle considered the offensive efforts to be the team’s downfall.
“Overall I think offensively, base-running mistakes really caught up to us,” she said. ” It was probably our biggest downfall. I thought that defensively we played okay and I preach to them that defense will keep you in the game, but offensively we cannot continue to make mistakes.”
Staehle’s was still optimistic between the two games, saying that she believed the Colonials (2-5) would correct those errors in the following game against UMBC.
Gabriel, who pitched the first game and allowed all three runs, also agreed that it was offensive mistakes combined with plate futility that cost her team the win.
“We just didn’t have any innings where we really had like hit, hit, hit, hit, hit, so we need to connect our hits and do well,” Gabriel said.
Game two perhaps showed where GW’s real weakness lies: in its pitching and fielding.
UMBC took a 7-0 lead in the first two innings. Freshman Ali Pardo began the game on the mound and was replaced by junior Carrie Higon during the second inning.
It was thanks to senior Chrysanthi Halkiotis, who hit a grand slam in the third inning, that the Colonials were not shut out.
Unlike after the first game, Staehle’s optimism was significantly diminished after the second contest.
“Defensively we have some work we need to do, we need to talk better, we need to move better, we need to have a more aggressive attitude when the ball is hit,” Staehle said. “(It’s) being more confident at the plate, because that’s something particularly early in the season that’s probably not a good sign, so we have some work to do.”