By Trey Colbert
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
With the first full Division I season coming to an end, “growing pains” was what the University of the Incarnate Word’s softball team players used to describe this season.
The Lady Cardinals started off the season in tournaments, playing such opponents as Ohio State, Iowa State and University of Texas-San Antonio, and will wrap up the season May 1-2 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
After beating Tennessee State University from Nashville 4-3 at the Louisiana Tournament in Lafayette, the Lady Cardinals then went on a dry spell, winning only two of their next 15 games to close out the non-conference schedule. Then in a Southland Conference schedule, the team lost 13 games straight, seven of them lost by two runs or less.
Senior shortstop Alexandria Zepeda said she and the team were happy to start the season with a win, but they knew they were better than what the records were showing
“Now it’s just a matter of putting it all together and making the rest of the season better,” said Zepeda, a biology (pre-pharmacy) major from Sinton, Texas.
Then the Lady Cardinals won five of the next 10 games, overcoming Texas Southern, Nichols State, Prairie View A&M, and twice against conference opponent Abilene Christian University.
The Lady Cardinals have had the most success playing at home, posting a 5-9 record with the last home series April 29, a doubleheader with Prairie View A&M. Regardless of the record, players said they know they have a better team than they had last year at this point in the season.
“This season we are better talent-wise,” Zepeda said. “We just can’t string it together. We had more wins last season but that was before our full Division I schedule.”
First baseman Alex Alonzo, a sophomore interdisciplinary studies major from San Antonio, added, “The best way to describe our season is growing pain. We lost our starting catcher to a back injury, our second baseman to an arm injury.
“This is our first Division (I) schedule and even though it’s not showing we have a better team than last year.”