Everything was great just a week ago.
But you never would have known Sunday judging by the look of disappointment on the Skippers’ faces.
The St. Clair County Community College softball team struggled in the past week, and that was highlighted by a pair of disheartening losses Sunday. The Skippers dropped a pair of mercy-shortened games to Oakland Community College.
The Skippers lost 11-2 in the first game, which spanned six innings, and 17-5 in the second game, which spanned five. SC4 also dropped a pair of games Saturday at Oakland.
“On Saturday we didn’t hit,” SC4 coach Ron Matthews said. “(Sunday) we hit better but our defense couldn’t make plays. We have to forget about the last play and go for the next one. But we are worried about what happened. I knew in losing two the way we did, (Saturday) is hard to come back from.
“But I thought we would be already coming home playing. We have to get our heads straightened around and come back and play Tuesday.”
The Skippers will return to Michigan Community College Athletic Association Eastern Conference play Tuesday when they host Mott Community College.
But on Sunday, all that the Skippers could think about was how fast their season has changed. A week ago today, SC4 claimed its fourth consecutive victory and appeared headed for a breakout season. The Skippers were unbeaten in the conference and 10-3 overall.
In the past week however, SC4 (4-6, 10-9) dropped all six of its games, which included four losses in the past two days to Oakland Community College (7-3, 11-14). On Saturday, OCC defeated SC4 3-2 in back-to-back games.
Then they opened Sunday with a torrid offensive display that left the Skippers in the dust. Oakland scored four runs in the fourth inning and four in the sixth to pull away. In the second game, Oakland scored four runs in the second inning after SC4 jumped out to a quick lead and 11 runs in the fifth inning to put the Skippers away.
“After playing close games with them (Saturday) and knowing everyone in the league is up there fighting for it, we really had to come out aggressive,” Oakland Community College coach Jamie Corona said. “We knew what we were up against and we didn’t want to give them any ground to stay with us.
“We have really tried to work on shutting teams down and finishing games after we get the lead. We talk about pitching and defense and how that will win us games.”
The Skippers are hoping to adopt a similar mentality as they return to the field today for practice.
“Right now we are struggling in hitting but we don’t exactly know why,” SC4 outfielder Sarah Hall said. “We need to find that mental game and get it back. Our mentality isn’t where it was previously in the season. We need to dig deep into ourselves to get whatever drive we had back. Right now we are lacking in that area and it’s showing on the field in our hitting and our defense.”
Hall was one of the Skippers’ bright spots on Sunday. She was 3-of-4 with two runs scored in the first game. Sydney Church added two hits for the Skippers and Shelby Fridline doubled.
Riley Thompson took the loss for the Skippers after allowing 10 hits and six walks.
Hall was 3-for-3 from the plate in the second game and Alyson Edgemon added a three-run home run that initially gave SC4 a 4-1 first inning lead. But the lead was short-lived as OCC found a way to get to Elita Wiggins, who took the loss.
“Individually we are fine,” Edgemon said. “But we don’t pull all of our attitudes together and as long as we don’t become a team and a family it’s going to continue.
“If we are down in one spot it brings the rest down. We need to be a team. We have no wiggle room right now, we have to go.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.