By: HENRY FREESE
As the sun set on Richard “Dick” Pfeil Field on Tuesday, Sept. 11, the IU South Bend team was outside practicing. They were about halfway through their short, five-week long fall scrimmage season, which runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 29.
As they practiced, they were looking for redemption. The team had recently been defeated by Lake Michigan College in a doubleheader by final scores of four-runs to two-runs in the first game, and in the second game, by a final score of five-runs to three-runs.
“We lost both of our games to Lake Michigan College,” said Brittney Lightfoot, the head coach of the IU South Bend softball team.
“While we were able to get runners on and in scoring position, we could not push those extra runners across the plate when we needed to. Our girls never backed down and continued to fight each inning as they learned through those experiences,” she said.
The purpose of the short, fall scrimmage season is to help prepare the softball team to compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, in the spring of 2019.
There is a sense of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming spring softball team members.
“Fall ball allows us to see what our players can do. It allows us to see our strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, how well we communicate, etc. in those game-like settings,” said Lightfoot.
“Winter is long in Indiana and we spend so much time indoors after our fall season. We usually do not see dirt again after Sept. 29 until we go down to Clermont, Florida, for our spring trip March 9,” she said.
The team hopes to get as much training in outside before the weather turns, and changes the training to indoor conditioning.
They will continue their season on Friday, Sept. 21, when they play another doubleheader at Richard “Dick” Pfeil Field, against Indiana Tech. Those two games of the doubleheader against Indiana Tech will start at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, the IU South Bend softball team will play a single, nine-inning scrimmage game against a travel softball team. Their fall scrimmage season will end on Saturday, Sept. 9, during which time, IUSB will travel to St. Mary’s College, in Notre Dame, Indiana to play a final doubleheader. Those two games will be played at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.