Softball continues its early season struggles

Tech continued their early season struggles, going 1-3 in South Florida in the Louisville Slugger Classic last weekend. Tech dropped three of the four games they played with one cancellation due to a rain out.

Tech failed to score a single run on the opening day of the tournament. The Jackets lost 1-0 to South Carolina and lost 5-0 to Hofstra. The back-to-back shutout was the first time two consecutive shutouts have occurred in five seasons for Tech.

In the first game against South Carolina, trouble started for the Jackets in the first inning. The Gamecocks singled, walked and a hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs. Whitney Humphreys was able to get out of the inning with a ground out.

Aileen Morales achieved a milestone during a course of the game; in the bottom of the first she stole her No. 110 career base. The steal ties Laura Williams for Tech’s all-time record.

The bottom of the fourth started with a Whitney Haller single. Haller took second on a single by Tiffany Johnson. Jessica Weaver then singled to left field, but an accurate throw to the plate kept the game scoreless when Haller tried to score from second base.

Later, in the sixth, Jill Semento doubled to lead off the inning and took third on a passed ball by the catcher. Semento scored on a sacrifice fly for the only score of the game. Melissa Hendon got the shutout for the Gamecocks.

In the second game of the day, Hofstra took a lead they would never give up. A walk, stolen base and Pam Dreslinski’s RBI single scored Kris Root. The second run scored when Dreslinski doubled to left field.

Tech’s offensive woes continued through the next few innings when they had base runners but could not score. Blair Shimandle doubled in the fourth, but Dreslinski’s defense kept the Jackets off the board. Becky McCraw singled in the fifth but was thrown out trying to take third on Stephanie Butler’s single.

Hofstra scored two more in the bottom of the fifth and held on for the shutout. Freshman Stephanie Morris took the loss, and Sarah Michalowski won the game for the Pride.

If there was one bright spot for the Jackets, it was their game against Wright State. They outscored the Raiders 5-0 for the win and Tiffany Johnson pitched her second straight shutout for the Jackets. The Jackets scored all five of their runs in the first inning and were able to keep State off the board for the rest of the game. Christy Jones and Shimandle singled with one out and Haller drove both in with a double to make it 2-0.

Weaver then doubled to score Haller and Savannah Brown capped the scoring with a two-run homer. In the second inning, Aileen Morales took first on a walk and was then sacrificed to second. Morales took third on a double steal after Shimandle walked.

The steal was Morales’ record No. 111 steal for the Jackets. Both teams kept each other scoreless for the rest of the game. Johnson took the win and for the Raiders, Sharon Palma took the loss.

Tech took on South Florida in the last game of the tournament and lost 1-0. For the Jackets, it was the fifth time the team was shutout in 13 games this season. USF scored the only run of the game in the second inning. Courtney Mosch led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice and then scored on a double by Alison Savarese.

Humphreys was lifted from the game after that in favor of Stephanie Morris. Morris walked the first batter, but induced a double play to get out of the inning.

The Bulls’ two hits came in the same inning and led to a run, while the Jackets’ hits came in the first and seventh and kept Tech scoreless.