The last weekend of the fall season was full of ups and downs for the softball team at the Traverse City West Collegiate Softball Tournament.
Central Michigan joined Michigan, Western Michigan and Oakland last weekend for a two-day tournament. The Chippewas struggled the first day, losing to Michigan, tying Oakland and beating WMU.
They would finish strong by beating Oakland in the knockout round and losing to Michigan 4-1 in the final to finish second.
“We did not play well on Saturday. We did not have the right energy or focus,” head coach Margo Jonker said. “On Sunday, we played much better and the results were better. A 4-1 game against Michigan isn’t what you want, but it isn’t a bad game either. We actually out-hit Michigan, but they obviously out-scored us. Overall, the game was decent, but we made too many mistakes against a good team.”
Despite the loss, CMU senior pitcher Morgan Yuncker was positive about how the team played against Michigan.
“It was the same as last year. No matter what name is on the front of the jersey, we are out to win,” Yuncker said. “We definitely can compete with them on the same level. It was fun. Saturday didn’t go so well, but Sunday we hung in there, and when we play them in season I think it will be interesting.”
Junior infielder Trista Cox was also proud of her team.
“I liked that we were able to come back Sunday and show what kind of team we are,” Cox said. “I think we are getting better instead of worse, which is something I have liked to see this fall.”
Heading into the weekend, Jonker set out to get players as much playing time as possible and to get the team to bond. According to junior shortstop CarolAnn Sexauer, those goals were achieved.
“I would say it went well. We did some team exercises, had a bonfire and got to know each other,” Sexauer said. “A lot of people got a lot of experience against some good teams, so overall I think it was a fun, good weekend.”
With the fall exhibitions behind them, the team has learned what it needs to improve on before the start of their spring season.
“We learned a lot about where we are at in this part of the season,” senior pitcher Chelsea Sundberg said. “We saw what we need to sharpen up on before we actually step out onto the field again.”
Jonker said she is excited to see what the months leading to the spring season will bring.
“This is an exciting time of the year. The players may not think so, but I think it is an exciting time,” Jonker said. “We can break down some things and learn some things to add to our repertoire in certain areas.”