By James Bartolo
The ThunderWolf softball team lost both games in their doubleheader against the #15 West Texas A&M Lady Buffs.
The games were the Pack’s first on the remodeled turf field at Rawlings Complex. In the first game, the ThunderWolves were shut out 8-0. Lady Buff senior Ashley Hardin hit a home run on the opening at bat to start a six-run first inning.
Despite the Lady Buffs’ strong start, ThunderWolf head coach Christie Koschke said her team didn’t let the first inning “tear them down.” “I think once we got settled in there we played right with them,” Koschke said.
After allowing six runs, starting pitcher K’Lee Kent got the first two outs with an unassisted double play. Sophomore pitcher Hannah Anderson came into the game shortly afterward and finished the game. Anderson allowed two runs on five hits.
In the second game, the ThunderWolves lost 9-2. Both of the Thunderwolves runs came in the bottom of the third inning. Sabrina Felix’s ground out helped Gabby Moreno score the first run. Marissa Piatt hit a double on the next at bat that was driven in by Michaela Burpee.
The Lady Buffs responded with three home runs in the fourth inning, including one from Kourtney Coveney that drove in additional runs from Hardin and Shayne Starkey. Shanna McBroom later scored a two-run homer in the sixth inning.
“I think if you give a little bit of some timely hitting here and there it’s a totally different ballgame,” Koschke said. The ThunderWolves had nine hits and a total of five runners left on base in the second game.
The ThunderWolves resume RMAC play March 17 with a four-game series against Chadron State. Koschke said the team needs to focus on competing the whole game and hitting with power in order to succeed in RMAC play.
“Defensively, we need lessen the blows of those runs. I think that’s what got away from us today, but if we can keep those down we’ll be good,” Koschke said.