Mercer’s softball team is working to build some momentum after a slow start to the season.
Ten games in, the team is 4-6, losing its most recent game at home against Georgia State — the Bears’ fourth straight loss that followed a four-game winning streak.
Mercer head coach Stephanie DeFeo said she sees the ways her team can improve and is confident that the players can make those adjustments as their season advances.
“We’ve had a lot of good moments to build on,” DeFeo said. “We’ve gotten a lot of people on base in almost every game, and now it’s all about getting those timely hits.”
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DeFeo said that injuries at key positions and other setbacks haven’t helped, but she has seen players step up despite the complications.
“Once we get into our groove and get into a rhythm, I think we’ll keep climbing the ladder,” DeFeo said.
Leadoff hitter and center fielder Meghan Rud is off to a strong start of the season. The junior is leading the team with a .515 batting average, squeezing 17 hits out of 33 at-bats. She has two triples — one against Portland State and one against Southern Illinois.
Rud said she wants to work on her goal of getting on base at least once every game. So far, she has managed to get a hit or at least get walked in nine of the Bears’ 10 games.
On defense, Rud has a perfect fielding percentage.
“Last year I struggled a little bit, but with the help of the coaching staff and my teammates I’ve been able to just tweak little things I did wrong the past year and just improve on what I’ve been doing,” Rud said.
The team will have the opportunity to turn things around when it hosts the Black & Orange Challenge this weekend. Mercer will play games against Marist and Fort Wayne.
DeFeo said if her team comes out and plays to the best of its ability, she believes it can beat any team it comes across.
“We’ve got to come out and play Mercer softball,” DeFeo said. “We just have to play our game, and when we put together a good pitching outing, play flawless defense and be explosive on offense, I feel like we can beat anybody.”