Softball Unfocused in Loss to Mats


Isabel Owens, Lifestyle Editor

Overconfidence may have been an issue in the Cougar’s May 12 loss to Miramonte, 3-6, according to coaches Wayne Stephens and John Fondnazio.

“For all intents and purposes, we destroyed them the last time we played them, 14-4. We had the game from start to finish and the mindset of the girls today was ‘let’s finish this game early and get out of here,’ and they weren’t ready to play the team that they played today,” said Fondnazio.

Stephens agreed that Miramonte played better they they were expecting. “We actually beat them last time but they actually came out and played strong this time and did what they needed to do to win the game,” he said.

Miramonte senior Kristy Ochs scored the first home run of the game in the 4th inning. Grace Deskin then batted in senior Dani Thomas in Cougars’ half of the inning, bringing the score to 2-1.

Deskin said that she and her teammates were put off by the pace of play. “Their pitcher is really slow compared to what we’ve seen in the past, and that was kind of difficult at first for some people, including myself. When it’s slower you have to wait for it to come, whereas if it’s fast it’s like once it’s out of the pitchers hand it’s practically to you,” she explained.

According to Fondnazio, Campolindo’s batting approach changed as the game progressed. “What we noticed was that their pitching was consistent and that we needed to make adjustments to their pitching and I think for the most part we were just working on that during the game, of positioning ourselves differently in the box and just trying to sit on a pitch,” he explained.

Campolindo trailed for several innings, but Thomas leveled the score at 3-3 in the 5th inning with a double, bringing in junior Ashley Tsang and freshman Abby Morris.

After being tied through the 6th and 7th innings, Miramonte took the lead for good with a home run from senior Caitlin Kozicki.

“The last play of the game was [when] Grace Deskin was up and she hit a pop-up to the shortstop for a routine fly ball in the infield and [Miramonte] just got it and finished it,” said Stephens.

Stephens said his team wasn’t mentally prepared for the Mats.

“We were a little overconfident is probably the best way to put it. We were believing that we should be able to take care of them, no problem, and probably thinking about our overconfidence instead of thinking about the game we should have played,” Stephens explained.

Fondnazio said that the team’s downfall was believing that the game would be a “cakewalk.” He explained, “At this level of athletics you have to have a certain level of focus and you have to make adjustments and you’re going to get beat up once in a while, and I think if you come into something thinking it’s going to be super easy and you’re overwhelmed at the fact that its not what you thought it was going to be, you need to make adjustments.”

Miramonte capitalized on the Cougars’ “simple mistakes,” according to Fondnazio. “They played a solid game today. Defensively, they were making good plays, [and] they didn’t make a lot of mental errors, and when we made mistakes they capitalized on our mistakes, and when they made mistakes, which was very few. We just didn’t have an opportunity to capitalize on them,” he said.

There were some positive takeaways from the game however. “They have actually a great hitter and their number 3 hitter last time, Mowers, we actually went into it making sure that we weren’t going to give her too much to hit and we executed that very well. She didn’t have any hits today,” said Stephens.

With 2 games remaining on the schedule, the squad’s goal is to “come together as a team and make this a good last two games for our seniors,” said Deskin.

“This year there were some girls who had never played before so they needed to kind of learn the game before they could really get any skills, and now they’ve improved a lot, so I think next year they’ll be more prepared. I think they’ll understand the swing of things and know kind of what to do next year,” Deskin said.

Stephens said that his team is strongest in their senior leadership in Thomas and pitcher Charlotte McNeil. “It helps the team a lot. We are a younger team, so that senior leadership really helps them pull through and handle things they’re not used to handling in those types of situations,” he explained.