After taking two of three games at Cameron last weekend in the final series of the regular season, TWU accomplished its goals of winning the season series and locking down the No. 3 seed in this week’s Lone Star Conference softball tournament.
TWU will open play in the six-team, single-elimination tournament at 11 a.m. Friday against No. 6 seed Tarleton State. The winner advances to face No. 2 seed Angelo State in a semifinal at 4 p.m.
“I’ve told the girls repeatedly to take care of their own business,” TWU coach Genny Stidham said. “We don’t want to wait for somebody else or what somebody else does. We beat [Cameron] two out of three at their place and beat them once at [the Lone Star Conference Showcase] at Midwestern, so I’m happy.”
Last weekend’s play showed Stidham that the Pioneers (33-16, 18-10 LSC) are ready for the postseason in two key areas: hitting and defense. “Offensively, that’s our strength,” she said, adding that in recent weeks the Pioneers’ play in the field has improved to her liking.
However, it’s another phase of the game — base running — that has the first-year TWU coach concerned. When the Pioneers have lost this season, including a 6-4 defeat at Cameron on Friday in the second game of a doubleheader, it’s often been because mental mistakes on the base paths have negated TWU’s consistency at the plate and killed chances to score.
“We’re hitting the ball very well right now,” Stidham said. “We’re putting some runs up on the board. We played three games last weekend, and even in the game we lost we outhit our opponent.
“But our base running took us out of the game we lost,” she said. “That’s something we have to cut out; otherwise, those hits aren’t going to mean much if we can’t get them across the plate.”
TWU and Tarleton faced off in four games within the last three weeks. On April 12 at TWU, the Pioneers swept a doubleheader with 3-1 and 8-0 victories. Five days later at Tarleton, TWU won the opener 9-6 before losing 7-5.
“They didn’t lie down against us,” Stidham said. “They kept coming at us. They will fight, and if they get a little spark they’ll continue to fight.”
The LSC tournament will be hosted for the second time by top-seeded West Texas A&M. The championship game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.
Dates set for TWU camps
TWU has set times and dates for its annual youth summer camps in basketball, gymnastics and soccer.
The 33rd annual Instructional Gymnastics Camp, set for June 15-19, is sold out, but interested gymnasts can sign up for a waiting list should an opening become available. The camp is for girls 8 and older.
The Recreational Day Camp for gymnasts 5 and younger will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 23-26.
The basketball staff will host a day camp for boys and girls in the eighth grade and below. Instruction will be held from 9 a.m. to noon June 23-26.
TWU’s Elite Soccer Camp, for girls 14 and older, will be conducted June 27-29.
More information about the camps is available at www.twuathletics.com or by calling 940-898-2378.