The Beaver Dam prep softball team couldn’t get anything going at home in Monday’s 16-0 drubbing by Oshkosh West.
“We were just giving up too many free bases,” Beaver Dam coach Abby Schmitt said. “We need to be there to support each other and play like a team. Once we figure out the team part, we’ll be fine.”
This was not the way the Golden Beavers (2-6) wanted to start out a week in which they will play host to Reedsburg today before traveling to Baraboo on Thursday.
“We have a long week ahead of us, so I didn’t want to wear them out too much,” Schmitt said.
Beaver Dam mustered just two hits against Wildcats pitcher Lacey Cruz, who struck out seven in a complete-game effort to lead West (8-2) — the 10th-ranked team in Division 1 in the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association/WisSports.net poll.
The loss extended Beaver Dam’s losing streak to three, although the previous two losses — to Portage and DeForest — were by a run apiece.
Another close loss was a 6-3 defeat to Baraboo on April 5, so while the Golden Beavers’ record isn’t what they want it to be at the moment, they are enduring some valuable growing pains that they hope will pay dividends the rest of the year.
“We have a lot of close games,” Schmitt said. “That’s what I tell them: We’re going to do fine the second time around conference. We’re still not even through the first time. We just have to find a way to close out those games. We’re getting the runs and we’re figuring it out, but we’ve got to close.”
Beaver Dam left three runners in scoring position on Monday.
“I think a good thing we can take away is we know we’ve got to get our bats going,” Schmitt said. “We know that defense alone isn’t going to win the game. We’ve just to get the bats going whenever runners are on. We’ve got to find a way to score them.”
On the other hand, the Wildcats made the Beavers pay when they had batters reach base. West scored four in the fourth before Cruz blasted a one-out three-run homer in the sixth to make it 12-0, highlighting an eight-run frame that provided for the final margin.
West’s Emily Miller went 3-for-4 with three doubles and four RBIs. Teammate Leah Engstrom also went 3-for-4 was just a home run shy of completing the cycle.
Schmitt said the Golden Beavers just need to get better and putting together strong at-bats and taking advantage of opportunities.
“With hitting, we like to try to put them in pressure situations. If we have runners on, we’ve got to find ways to score them,” Schmitt said of what happens at practice. “We’re not having trouble getting runners on (in games), which is a positive out of all of this. But we’ve got to get the bats moving — find bunts, find the holes and we’ll get it done.”
OSHKOSH WEST 16, BEAVER DAM 0 (6)</&hspag3>
Oshkosh West 220 408 - 16 11 1
Beaver Dam 000 000 - 0 2 1
Pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Cruz (W; 6-2-0-2-7), Schwartz (2.2-6-9-6-2), Garbalagtys (L; 3.1-5-6-5-1).
Leading Hitters — Oshkosh West — Miller (3x4), Engstrom (3x4). 2B — Miller 3, Geis, Engstrom, Ebel, Bauer. 3B — Engstrom. HR — Cruz. Beaver Dam — 2B — Madeiros.