Softball prepares for conference with tough road trips

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Pacific University Softball started the season by winning their first four games with a 22 run difference in those competitions. The Boxers went 2-2 on their trip to Texas after having the last two games cancelled, and went 2-3 while visiting Hawaii, where two games were also cancelled.

The Boxers have a team batting average of .303 and are holding opponents to .273 through their first 11 games. Sophomores Hailey Miller and Nicole Martinez lead the team in batting average of the Boxers with more than 20 at bats hitting .485 and .417. The pair also leads the team in hits with a combined 31 hits, over one third of the total hits for the Boxers this season.

The team has also seen strong performances from Carly Bursch this season, who along with Miller, were named Northwest Conference Student-Athletes of the Week for the week of Feb. 12 to Feb 18. Bursch, a freshman from Santee, Calif. helped lead the Boxers to a win over The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II opponent Hawaii Pacific University.

Bursch has mainly been used as a relief pitcher this season, but in the win against Hawaii Pacific pitched a complete game giving up only two runs and eights hits while striking out two.

The Boxers have a two week break from competition before they start conference play the first week of March against Willamette University. This will give the Boxers a chance to learn from their preseason trips to Texas and Hawaii and figure out what they need to focus on going into conference play.

The group finished fourth in the conference last season with a record of 15-13. The team returns many of the players who helped lead them to success, but lack experience in the circle.

Junior Morgan Masters and Sophomore Tiare Guerrero are the sole returning pitchers for the Boxers who brought in four freshmen to help give the team depth at the position. How the Boxers handle their inexperience at pitcher could determine how successful they are in conference this year.

The team opens conference play against Willamette University with two double headers March 2 and March 3 at Sherman Larkins Stadium.


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