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Lady Cougars hoping to finish season strong

The Lady Cougar softball team is struggling to find a rhythm after completing the first round of play for the 2016 season.

After putting together a 7-8 record during the spring trip to Florida, the Lady Cougars came home and dove into Crossroads League play, where tough competition has continually tested their strength.

With nine new players, the team is still trying to find its groove.

The Lady Cougars lost 21 of their first 32 games and then came back to win six games in a row, four of which came from Indiana Wesleyan University and Taylor University last weekend.

“Last weekend was a great weekend for us,” junior infielder Courtney Rengert said. “I expect us to continue working towards reaching our potential as a team. We have a great group of athletes; we just need to put the pieces together.”

Despite an impressive weekend performance, the Lady Cougars failed to carry the momentum into the week. The team started the week by dropping two games at Grace College. They returned home for a doubleheader against Huntington University on Tuesday, losing 10-0 and 5-0.

“We couldn’t make the pieces fall together,” senior catcher Konnor Byers said. “We didn’t make the plays in crucial moments, and that hurt us. But I saw a lot of good things happen, and I think we can really build on that.”

Senior outfielder Hannah Shaffer leads the team with a .426 batting average, 55 hits and four stolen bases. She won Player of the Week for the Crossroads League twice for the 2016 season for her outstanding performance in the outfield.

Sophomore pitcher Anna Boué dominates the mound with a 3.17 ERA and 71 total strikeouts. She averages 4.89 strikeouts per game. Junior Megan Beidelman carries the team with 39 RBI.

There are nine regular season games left this year.

“I expect us to finish the season strong and continue playing with heart,” Byers said.

The Lady Cougars are on track to receive a bid to the Crossroads League Conference tournament. The top eight teams compete in the tournament, and they currently hold the seventh seed in the conference. The tournament begins May 2 and is expected to take place at Marian University.

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