Pranathi Chitta
Mercury Staff

Team will play in upcoming championship despite losses

The softball team’s last series for the American Southwest Conference on April 26-27 against UT Tyler had a bittersweet ending, with the team taking losses in all three games while also breaking its home run record for this season.

The Comets are currently losing 20-16 and have won 12 out of the 14 games played so far in the ASC. Last weekend, the team played against Hardin-Simmons University, which is currently ranked fourth in the ASC, with the Comets winning two out of three games played with scores of 4-0 and 10-4, securing a spot in the ASC Tournament. 

“The season so far has been not as consistent as what we’d hoped for, coming into it,” Head Coach James Kling said. “We’ve played well at times, then all of a sudden, we’re not playing as well. We’re still trying to figure some of the consistency.”

The team played LeTourneau University on April 11-12 where they lost three straight games in the series.

“It’s always hard to come back from a series like that,” Kling said. “We gave up a couple runs. Our shoulders dropped a little ,and we didn’t maintain that momentum.”

Healthcare studies senior and outfielder Melissa Livermore holds the NCAA Division III Stolen Bases Record as well as the ASC All-Time Hits Record.

“Even though it is an individual award, there are so many people that deserve recognition,” Livermore said.

Livermore had a batting average of  0.522 this season and hit a season high of four hits during the Hardin-Simmons game on April 19.

“We’ve been trying the entire season to keep the idea of playing one game at a time and being in the moment,” Livermore said.

Livermore has been playing for the team since her freshman year in 2015 while winning the first ever ASC softball title for UTD in 2017.

“It’s the juniors and seniors on the team now that have the experience as to how it feels to win an ASC tournament,” Livermore said. “So far — the juniors and seniors — we know what it takes: Just go out there and play your heart out one pitch at a time.”

Biology senior and pitcher BriAnna Young had a season shutout victory against Hardin-Simmons on April 18.

“I always try to go out and pitch my best,” Young said. “As a pitcher, I like to study the team beforehand so I can put myself in the best possible position to help my team.”

Young currently has an ER rate of 3.44 and a season high of three strikeouts against Augsburg on Mar. 18, earlier this season.

“I think I’ll continue fighting and have something to fight for because if you go into the game with no goals, you have nothing to look forward to,” Young said. “You’re fighting towards some kind of goal to push you.”

It’s Kling’s first year coaching at UTD, after head coaching for eight years at Our Lady of the Lakes University in San Antonio.

“This season has been a learning experience for me, especially with the seniors,” Kling said. “I’ve been able to talk to them, and that tells me how they interact with the underclassmen, so the senior class are ready to go and can’t wait for tournament to begin. I think they’re going to be ready for them.”

UTD is currently ranked seventh in the ASC standings and will compete in the tournament on May 2-4 in Marshall, TX, hosted by East Texas Baptist University.

“So if we just have the mindset of playing better and more consistently, then I think we’ll do well at ASC tournament,” Kling said. “Hopefully we’ll be on a roll, play some good ball and make something happen.”