Croup’s Corner – Softball keeps waiting…and waiting…

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

Well, the softball team will have to wait some more to get the bats going.

The Pioneers entered last week bracing for their first River States Conference (RSC) weekend at Cincinnati and Ohio Christian. They also entered last week with a home game on their schedule.

Then came snow.

Point Park had to postpone all of its games for last week, including its RSC openers. When Point Park played at Gannon University in a non-conference game Tuesday afternoon, it marked 11 days in between games. The Pioneers last played in the Lindsey Wilson – Campbellsville University Tournament on March 15-16.

Those games came 14 days after Point Park’s spring break games in Florida.

The Pioneers haven’t had a lot of live reps since returning from the Sunshine State.

They enter the week 3-9 after a top-25-heavy schedule. None of those games on their schedule have been in conference yet, as the first RSC games are slated for March 30 against Carlow.

The Pioneers’ bats have been quiet through the first 12 games, rarely getting chances to see live ball action beyond their own pitchers.

Senior first baseman Kim Corcoran is one of two players hitting over .300 early in the season. The four-year player credits tough opponent pitching to the slow start.

“We need to start hitting pitches earlier in the count when we’re facing these good pitchers, instead of getting behind in the count when we see their best stuff,” Corcoran said. “Early in the season, you want to jump on the first good pitches instead of waiting.”

So while the Pioneers are waiting for conference games to come around, they can’t wait for the perfect pitches to hit, according to Corcoran.

She is hitting .351 in 12 starts, while junior right fielder Shannon Davis is hitting .360.

The lineup has shuffled around quite a bit early in the season. Corcoran has hit third in every game this year, while senior shortstop Lily Pruneda has hit in the second spot in the lineup in all 12 games.

Point Park has experimented with other different lineup configurations throughout the early stages of the season, mostly returning players from last year’s squad.

“I think we need to get comfortable where we are in the lineup,” Corcoran said. “The lineup keeps moving around a little. Once we get in our spots and learn the batters before and after us, we’ll start getting some hits together.”

The team has a batting average of .224, but Point Park’s pitching staff has kept it close with those tough teams.

Point Park’s team ERA is 3.10 through 12 games, the lowest mark in the conference behind Rio Grande’s 2.09 clip. Rio Grande has played 27 games.

Tiffany Edwards has the fifth-lowest ERA in the conference at 2.53, while Ashley Iagnemma has the seventh-best at 3.16.

The Pioneers few and far between early schedule has been out of their control. The Pioneers have played 12 games in 31 days between Feb. 24 and March 27. Between March 27 and the season finale at Malone College on April 24 – a span of 28 days – Point Park has 25 games on its schedule, not including any potential makeup games.

They’ve been waiting for a while now to dive into conference play. That waiting is going to come to an abrupt halt this weekend against Carlow when Point Park enters the heart of the season.