As a late addition to the Conway Classic, Northwest softball traveled 486 miles south to Conway, Arkansas, in a quest to find pre-conference contests.
The Bearcats (2-4) finished the weekend 1-3 against Upper Iowa, Minnesota State, Parkside and Rogers State. Northwest’s sole win came against Parkside 6-0 when sophomore Regan Thompson threw a shutout, allowing just four hits.
Junior infielder Kaitlyn Weis continues to produce at the dish for Bearcats going 6-for-14, driving six runs and clubbing two home runs. Weis now leads Northwest with a .500 batting average and a robust 1.100 slugging percentage.
“Really the whole weekend, defensively we played well,” coach Ryan Anderson said of his team’s weekend performance. “Pitchers pitched decent. We actually hit the ball. Two of the games we lost we had the lead in the sixth and seventh inning, and we lost it.”
Perhaps the most disappointing loss of the weekend for the Bearcats came at the hands of Minnesota State. Going into the final half inning of play, Northwest had a 7-4 lead, and the Mavericks completed the comeback scoring four runs to walk-off the Bearcats.
“We’re facing teams that keep the same approach all seven innings, and we got out ahead those first three, four innings, and we shut off,” Anderson said. “We have to keep the pedal down, and we have to keep going. This is a hard sport where you only get a shot once every two and a half innings, and we have to keep it going.”
Senior outfielder Jaedra Moses had a successful weekend collecting seven hits, driving in one run while scoring three of her own. Moses explained the late-game collapses came from the fact the team isn’t quite conditioned to the demands of the game.
“We just got tired really easily,” Moses said. “It’s only our second weekend out so we are still getting used to playing seven innings and staying with it. I think our momentum will get better as we go on.”
With only six games under its belt, Northwest has produced runs, averaging almost four runs a game, and has received quality pitching from Thompson. Anderson said the positive takeaway from the games was the fact his team was competitive.
“The good thing was we were in every game,” Anderson said. “Realistically, we should’ve ended that weekend 3-1, but two games got away from us, and that’s the way it goes.”
Anderson dismissed the thought of cold playing a factor in the reasoning behind his team not finishing strong, explaining, “it was cold in both dugouts … we just got beat.”
With yet another tournament being canceled on the Bearcats, Northwest is looking for more games to play. Moses said these early season tournaments help the team get a fresh look and give them a break from facing each other.
“It’s nice just to get out and have some games and get more competition,” Moses said. “We do live and see our own pitchers quite a bit so it’s nice to get different looks and different pitches.”
Information on where the Bearcats will play this weekend was not available at the time of publication. Follow @NWMSports for updates on game locations and times.