Struggling Cougar softball focused on improving
The Lakeville South softball team has been working on a list of things to improve so it’s ready for the playoffs in two weeks.
After a 9-1 loss to Burnsville on Monday, the list got a little longer.
“We’re having a couple growing pains at this point and it’s not always going in our favor,” head coach Colleen Powers said. “We just have to go back to the drawing board and work a little harder.”
The Cougars were held to two hits Monday, and one of them was a home run by Lindsey Kamleiter. Burnsville had 14 hits and Lakeville South helped out the Blaze by committing three errors. The Cougars fell to 1-5 in the South Suburban Conference.
“When you’re not putting runs on the board, it makes it a lot tougher,” Powers said. “You need more than two hits to win a ballgame like this.”
Scoring is perhaps South’s biggest obstacle. The Cougars average about three runs per game, making them one of the lowest-scoring teams in the South Suburban Conference.
“We’re finding ways to put the ball in play. One of the things we’ve done is decrease our strikeouts,” Powers said. “We just have to get some ground balls and get on base.”
Powers is also starting several newcomers this season who have yet to settle into their roles.
“We had people in different spots and they weren’t necessarily comfortable today,” Powers said. “But I believe in them. They’ll figure it out after a few more games. They’re getting their feet wet at the varsity level. We have some work to do, but if anyone will do it, it’s these girls.”
Lakeville South started the season by losing three of its first four games. The three losses were by a combined 26 runs.
Since then the girls have defeated Hopkins 5-2 and lost to Rosemount by one run. South also played competitively against Lakeville North, losing 3-0 to a team that averages almost seven runs a game.
They’re looking for little victories in each game.
“The kids are staying positive and confident,” Powers said.
Kamleiter’s home run and pitcher Kylie Stober’s performance were highlights for South in the Burnsville game. Stober came in for Madeline Bianchi in the second inning and held the Blaze scoreless for four of the remaining six innings.
“She was hitting her spots, that’s for sure,” Powers said of Stober. “She’s getting more confident.”
Powers also praised the play of catcher Allie Kent, who was brought up from junior varsity.
The Cougars will play at a hometown tournament at Aronson Park on Saturday against teams from Farmington, Bloomington and beyond.