Friday, April 12, 2024

MTSU softball stumbles early; starts season 0-9

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Featured photo by Preston Todd

Story by Jacob Burgess

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Middle Tennessee Softball (0-9) is far from where it expected to be after the first two tournaments of the season.Coming off a 42-win season and a trip to the NCAA regional round, MTSU has dug itself an early hole to start the season.  

 The team is winless after the first nine games of the season, with six of those losses coming by one run. Problems have come from offense and defense by giving up runs late in the game and leaving runners in scoring position.  

 “We aren’t down and out about it, we got a long way to go. This is a long season, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” MTSU head coach Jeff Breeden said referring to the 54-game regular season.  

 Defensively, the team has struggled late in close games in the circle and out in the field. Newly tabbed ace Kamryn Carcich has struggled in late-game situations, surrendering nine hits in six games during the last inning. 

 Carcich is not alone in her late-game struggles though as three errors in the field also happened during the last inningof games in the NorCal Kickoff.  

 “After the first weekend, we cleaned up our defense and we have not been making as many errors.” Breeden said.  

 Offensively, the Blue Raiders are hitting well as a team, compiling a .263. batting average to this point but MTSU has left 64 runners on base. MTSU had the bases loaded with one out against Sacramento State in the top of the seventh inning. MTSU went on to lose the game 5-4.  

 “Honestly, it’s really mindset not going up there trying to throw their way through an at-bat,” MTSU hitting coach Bryce Brentz said. “It’s going up there being ready to hit by pitch one, staying with an approach that ball stays in that zone. We tell them to bet on themselves, be aggressive.” 

 There are positives to take into the rest of the season even if the record does not suggest it. MTSU’s team batting average is near the middle of Division I. MTSU has played five games with a team batting average of above .250., along with five players with individual averages above .300.  

 Within individual games, MTSU was able to score runs when needed. In games against Cal Poly and Sacramento State, the Blue Raiders were down in the late innings and scored multiple runs to bring themselves back into the game.  

 The best offensive performance so far was the seventh inning against Delaware, where the Blue Raiders scored seven runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The team has shown signs of winning but needs to bring them all together at once to claim that elusive first win.  

 Jacob Burgess is a sportswriter for MTSU Softball. If you have information for a story, you can contact him at jkb7z@mtmail.mtsu.edu.  For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com. Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @mtsusidelines, or on X @MTSUSidelines.  

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