Softball team continues to fight off weather and competition

Jillian Barrile photo: In a double header against Gannon, the Lakers wore pink jerseys to raise breast cancer awareness. Jillian Barrile photo: In a double header against Gannon, the Lakers wore pink jerseys to raise breast cancer awareness. The weather in Erie never seems to get the season right. It’s mid-April, and there have only been a few days of sun and no rain.

This is something the Mercyhurst softball team is well aware of. Having played 38 games already, the team has practiced outside for only a few hours. Despite the limited outdoor practices, the team has played very well heading into the stretch run of the season.

The Lakers have a 21-17 overall record with six games left. Their record to this point is even more impressive since the team has played 30 of 38 games on the road. Another unique fact for softball is that every series is a doubleheader, and 10 of those 21 victories came in the second game of the day.

For such a grind, weather and away games included, the team has come away stronger.

This season, the Lakers welcomed left fielder Samantha Eimers, a junior transfer from Mercyhurst North East. She leads the team in nearly every offensive category including hits, runs, home runs, slugging percentage, batting average and steals.

Want more team success? Chemistry is at an all-time high.

“This is the most chemistry we have had since I’ve been here, and everyone works hard and pushes each other,” junior Emily Redig said about her new teammates.

Redig has had an exceptional season of her own so far. She is right behind Eimers in most statistical categories and continues to play solid defense at second base. Redig has improved her batting average to .322 and has 38 hits so far this year.

Behind the bats of Eimers and Redig, the softball team has continued to fight through a tough season and is looking to lock up a No. 2 seed for the playoffs.

“The weather has been frustrating because it throws off any rhythm, but this team has a lot of talent to pull through,” said coach Sara Headley. “This is the most enjoyable team I have been around since I came to Mercyhurst. They just give everything they have every day and tries to improve their game.”

For the Lakers, the improving weather couldn’t have come soon enough. The Lakers managed to split games with Gannon and California. The Vulcans would be the No. 1 seed if the season ended today. With the splits, the Lakers are at 6-6 in PSAC play with four of the final six games in conference.

“We just need to zone in, and when we do, we feel like we can beat anyone,” Eimers said.

The team will travel to Edinboro University for a doubleheader on Friday. The last home games of the season will be on Saturday against Slippery Rock, with the first starting at 1 p.m.