Softball’s long road trip nearly over, home opener this week

After playing 10 games in eight days, the UVM softball team had a week off before last weekend’s crucial series against Maine.”Our goal since the beginning is to make the tournament,” head coach Marcy Hickey said. “It is an uphill battle, but we are capable of achieving it. We have to take it one game at a time, and we have to make no mistakes.”In the past, UVM has had some difficulty playing Maine, but going into the weekend series, the softball team was confident in their ability to win, not to mention Maine started their season with a 28-game losing streak.”Last week was a busy week for us,” Hickey said. “But now we’re in a positive place and playing aggressive.Our offense is coming on strong, which has been inconsistent this season.”One of the reasons for the strong offensive output is the team’s ability to steal bases. UVM has one of the highest steal percentages in the America East, and all the recruiting and focus put into speed has paid off.Though the Catamounts were optimistic in their abilities going into the weekend series at Maine, they unfortunately dropped the three game series 2-1, extending their record to 11-22, and 4-10 in league play.In the first of the three games, UVM came out of the gates fast, scoring three runs in the first inning. But Maine responded in the second inning, exploding for six and cruising to a 9-4 victory.Senior Aimee Kern was able to pitch the distance for the Cats, giving up six hits with four earned runs and 13 strikeouts.In the second game of the Saturday double-header, the Catamounts were able to secure a 7-3 win. Junior Allison Daggett was able to pitch a complete game, allowing only three hits while striking out four.The final game against the Black Bears was a heartbreaker for the Cats. UVM tied it at three in the top of the seventh only to let up the game winning run in the next half inning.Freshman Caroline Goddard and senior Elena Rizza had two hits each, and Goddard finished the series going 6-11 at bat. UVM has played every one of their games this year on the road, and their home opener is scheduled for thisweek, as they play host to Albany this Wednesday.