Wins seems so close but yet so far for JCU softball

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Wins seems so close but yet so far for JCU softball

Junior pitcher Jenn Patterson winds up for a pitch against Baldwin Wallace on Saturday, April 6 at Bracken Field.

Junior pitcher Jenn Patterson winds up for a pitch against Baldwin Wallace on Saturday, April 6 at Bracken Field.

JCU Sports Information

Junior pitcher Jenn Patterson winds up for a pitch against Baldwin Wallace on Saturday, April 6 at Bracken Field.

JCU Sports Information

JCU Sports Information

Junior pitcher Jenn Patterson winds up for a pitch against Baldwin Wallace on Saturday, April 6 at Bracken Field.

Sean Freeman, Staff Reporter

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Six straight losses, five of which were decided by less than three runs. Ten of the last 11 games dropped.

Such has been the unfortunate tale for the John Carroll Blue Streaks softball team.  After starting the season two games above .500 and coming out of Florida with their best spring break record in years, the Blue and Gold have struggled, as of late, to finish close games where victory has been at their fingertips.

The story ran true this past weekend at Bracken Field.

The Fighting Muskies of Muskingum, entering the Saturday, April 6, contest, had already accumulated 21 wins and were garnering votes in the NFCA Top 25 posting.  A tough challenge, but one the Blue Streaks were ready for.

For a team that has scored over five runs in 17 of their 21 wins, John Carroll’s defense did a terrific job of keeping the Fighting Muskies in check.  A huge portion of the outstanding defensive display was exhibited by the pitchers, junior Jenn Patterson and senior Jess Cook.

Cook allowed only 10 hits through all seven frames while eliminating a career-high nine batters at the plate via strikeout. Patterson had a complete game herself, surrendering only six hits against the Muskies despite a three-run first inning spurt from the away team. In both contests, one of the runs scored by Muskingum was unearned.

Despite the incredible pitching performances, the John Carroll bats have weighed heavy, contributing to close losses in the final innings of play. In games where the Blue Streaks have scored more than three runs this season, the team is 8-3.  During the current six-game slump, John Carroll has scored a combined 16 runs, averaging out to 2.66 runs per outing. That simply won’t cut it.

In both of the games against Muskingum, the Blue Streaks had chances to tie and/or win in the final innings of play.  In both matches, the squad stranded nine runners. Four base runners were left in the sixth and seventh innings of game one, and two were left on base in the seventh inning of game two.

This outstanding program is not out of the hunt. They have shown their prowess and have an opportunity to reach the playoffs if they get back into their scoring rhythm soon. Being five games out from fourth-place Otterbein, the Blue Streaks have 10 more OAC matchups, along with six more non-conference games.

Their road to the playoffs continues today, as JCU takes on Oberlin College at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. after a conference match against Heidelberg this past Wednesday.