The intensity of the past few weeks of competition has been unlike any other in the world of softball at Pacific. Where the fate of the entire season hung in the balance of each game, day-to-day wins were crucial.
No matter the situation, the Boxers showed they were up for the challenge. They stood in a position where playoffs were a possibility, but not a definite cinch.
Determination was the theme of the next eight games; where the ladies went on to win six to secure a spot in the Northwest Conference playoff tournament.
“With four teams competing for two playoff spots, winning as many of those games as possible was crucial to our playoffs hopes,” said Head Coach Tim Hill. “Winning six of those eight gave us a lot of confidence entering the playoffs.”
In a league as competitive as the NWC, just having the opportunity to play postseason games is quite a feat.
Unfortunately, the playoff run for Pacific ended short, despite two hard fought games.
Pacific held the title of fourth seed, which meant first up was the first seed Linfield Wildcats. Linfield, being ranked in the top ten of division III softball teams in the nation, is more than familiar with the title of champions.
Although the outcome was a loss, Hill was very satisfied with his team’s effort. “To the team’s credit, their approach was of controlled excitement and a feeling of confidence. It showed in their performance against Linfield,” he said. “We played a strong game and in spite of a 3-2 loss, we more than held our own against one of the best teams in the nation.”
Freshman Marissa Reichard pitched for the Boxers and allowed six hits. She also contributed to the four hits Pacific totaled, one of which drove in a run.
The second of the two RBI’s came from freshman Emmie Moser.
Game two wasn’t what the ladies had in mind for ending the season either. Pacific Lutheran, the defending champions, was the opponent. The outcome was a 7-0 loss for the Boxers.
The Lutes managed to start the game with a four run first inning off junior starting pitcher Sara Aasness. Despite the effort, the Boxers finished with only two hits to Pacific Lutheran’s 11.
Even thought this wasn’t the way the team wanted to finish the season, there is reason to be optimistic about the future. “Our second loss was a bit of a downer, but I believe our players realize that with such a young team, there are good times ahead,” Hill said.
As of now, all players will be returning next season.
The 12 freshman, seven sophomores, and four juniors that make up this team will be working to accomplish even more than what they did this year.
“We carried a very large 23-player roster and had numerous players who had to sacrifice playing time during the season,” Hill explained.
“But this group of players, more than any other that I’ve coached in my 11 years at Pacific, was a shining example of what constitutes a true team, what makes great teammates and how they can all contribute to the team’s success,” concluded Hill.