The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point softball team has lost nine of their last 10 games including double headers against three conference opponents. The struggles began against the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire at the start of Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
“We put a lot of runs up on the board, played outstanding defense and our pitchers both pitched great, but at the end of the day they were better on Saturday,” said senior catcher/outfielder Kelly Arndt. Arndt is the only senior on the team, with seven freshman, five sophomores, and five juniors.
“One benefit of having a young team, that other teams might not have, is that at any time a person from any grade can step up and be a leader,” Arndt said. “Since our team is all very close in age it is very easy for us to have great team chemistry. ”
Point fell 9-7 in the first game against the Blugolds, then followed that game up with a 10-6 loss that same day. The following game was against conference rival University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. In their first game, Point fell 6-3 then lost the following game 9-7.
“It all comes down to who is more prepared coming into the games and who is willing to dig down deep to give 110 percent at every game,” Arndt said.
The following day, Point took on the University of Wisconsin – River Falls in their home opener. Point took the first game 2-1 but lost the second game 7-3.
“Since we always play double headers when you play at home you get to be the home team both games,” Arndt said. “This is a huge advantage because you always have the last shot to put runs up on the board, which is huge.”
The ensuing week, Point traveled to Ripon to play Ripon College where the Red Hawks took both games. The first game Point lost 6-4 then followed that game up with a 5-4 loss. Three days later Point hosted the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in an Alumni Day double header.
The Pioneers won the first game 9-0 in a run-shortened victory that ended in five innings. The following game, Platteville won 3-1 to sweep the Pointers at home.
“When it comes to a specific team the only difference is figuring out how to pitch to their players and where the speed and power is at on their team,” Arndt said.
Point has eight home games remaining including matchups against the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and the University of Wisconsin – Stout. First year Coach Jill Millis and the young squad are currently 11-17 overall, 1-7 in conference play.
“Since our team is all very close in age it is very easy for us to have great team chemistry,” said Arndt. “College ball is very different from high school because in high school you can easily tell who is in which grade; in college, and especially this team you really can’t tell the difference.”