Softball’s offense struggles

Elliott Schreiner

Sports Reporter

The softball team’s hitting woes continued this weekend when the Falcons traveled to Mount Pleasant, Mich. to take on Central Michigan.

Central Michigan showed Bowling Green why they are considered to be on the favorites in the Mid-American Conference, shutting out the Falcon offense in three straight games.

Bowling Green mustered five hits in their doubleheader against Central Michigan on Saturday and things only got worse Sunday when the Falcons were held to two hits.

“We can’t hit the ball right now,” coach Leigh Ross-Shaw said. “We are just pushing too hard and swinging at bad pitches.”

The Falcons’ rough weekend started in rather dismal fashion as senior Jenni Rasmussen tossed the first of two shutouts for the Chippewas, who won 4-0.

Whatever offensive damage needed to be done for Central came off the bat of Michelle Brander, who drove in three of the Chippewas’ four runs.

In the second game, it was more of the same story for the Falcons, when they ran into hardened MAC veteran, Amber Pulchalski.

Pulchalski overpowered Bowling Green while completing the 25th shutout of her career, giving the Chippewas a 6-0 victory. She finished the game allowing just two hits while whiffing ten batters, giving her 632 career strikeouts, good for fourth on the all-time MAC list.

Ross-Shaw was impressed by Pulchalski’s performance, but doesn’t feel she had the velocity she’s had in past years. “Her reputation precedes her,” she said. “She’s a great pitcher, but she seems more hittable than in the past.”

The final game of the weekend turned into a pitcher’s duel, with freshmen Liz Vrabel and Jessica Garvin taking the hill for their teams.

Garvin was the victor in the battle as Bowling Green lost a heartbreaker 1-0.

It was the second of two tough defeats for Vrabel, who pitched 12 innings on the weekend, allowing only four earned runs.

“With Vrabel, you know what to expect,” Ross-Shaw said. “She is going to throw hard and it’s nice to know what you’re getting.”

Even with all the hitting troubles, Ross-Shaw still sees strength in her team.

“Our defense and pitching is great,” she said. “Our defense has just been a total team thing, everyone is focused and aggressive at every position.”

Ross-Shaw knows there is talent in her team and now is waiting for the bats to come alive.

The Falcons next chance to wake up their bats will come against Ohio University. Action is slated to start at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the BGSU softball field.