The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Storm struggles on road, drops three

The St. John’s softball team will be happy to return home toJamaica, Queens this week after a tenuous season-starting road tripthat saw the Red Storm journey to North Carolina and Florida overspring break, as well as South Carolina last weekend where theymustered only two wins in five games.

The Storm’s home opener is scheduled for Wednesday, March 17 at2:30 p.m. at Red Storm Field, welcoming St. Francis (N.Y.) afterfalling to a mediocre 9-13 record during their southern road tripthat spanned from the beginning of the season in February to themiddle of March.

Last weekend at the Winthrop Invitational epitomized theJohnnies’ recent slump, with inconsistency plaguing the teamthroughout the three series’ held below the Mason-Dixon Line.

“Big East games have not even started yet,” St. Johns head coachMelody Cope said, adding that she is not concerned with the earlyseason performance.

On Sunday, the Red Storm committed four errors on their way toan 8-2 loss to North Carolina State and on Saturday they splittheir two contests with a 10-2 win over Charleston Southern and a6-3 loss to Western Illinois.

“We have a young team and we’re making young mistakes,” Copesaid in reference to her inexperienced team of eleven freshmen,which includes middle infield freshmen, shortstop Loren Angina andsecond baseman Tami Hill.

The Red Storm features one senior this season, starting pitcherCourtney Fitzgerald.

“We’re trying to get the girls as much experience as possible,”Cope added.

On Friday, the Storm did another split, losing a tough game toJacksonville State, 3-2 and outlasting Ohio in the other, 5-4.

“A lot of them are not one hundred percent,” Cope said, citingthat star pitcher and senior Courtney Fitzgerald is limited to onlyfour or five innings per day on her way back from a rib injury.

Junior starter Meghan Allman is also trying to fight back frominjury and freshman pitcher Brittany Crouch has had huge ups anddowns, pitching a no-hitter against UConn during spring break inFlorida, but getting blasted in relief last weekend at the WinthropInvitational.

Cope mentioned that sophomore standout Jo Sherlock has beenplaying hurt for the past week and sophomore third basemen MeganOliver is not yet one hundred percent after off-season arm surgery.The goal is to get everyone back and healthy once Big East gamesbegin in early April.

The offensive star over the weekend was junior first basemanAllina Sainz, who went 4-for-4 with four runs batted in againstCharleston Southern and a monstrous grand slam in the opening gameagainst Ohio.

Freshman Christina Tucker also swung the bat well in SouthCarolina going 3-for-4 with two RBI in the win on Saturday.

“We expect her to hit the ball well and produce runs for us,”Cope said.

It will be a bittersweet homecoming for St. John’s this weekwhen they return to New York, but also have to face the rigid, coldweather and snow that has struck the Northeast lately.

“It will be really nice to come home,” Cope said. “Butunfortunately the weather has not been too kind to us…the coldestwe’ve played in has been the high 50’s and low 60’s.”


Errors plague SJU
St. John’s  2
N.C. State 8

Showing “Sainz”
St. John’s 10
Char. Sou 2

Isn’t Life Grand?
St. John’s 5
Ohio        4

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