The Comet softball team is currently tied for third place with 11 wins and four losses in the Division III American Southwestern Conference. Here is everything you need to know before the May 11 ASC tournament, including the recent games you might have missed.
The softball team began the season in Memphis, TN with two victories against Rhodes College. They continued to dominate in Memphis with two more wins before coming home for a split game against Ottawa University, snowballing into a five-game losing streak. However, the Comets brought back their spirit with a nearly undefeatable strategy, with only one loss against Sul Ross State University.
Head coach Keller Archer, who has been teaching at UTD for nearly 20 years, said he could not be prouder of his team, which ranks No. 2 in fielding for the ASC.
“[UTD Athletics is the] best place I’ve ever worked. It’s my favorite place,” Archer said. “We’re in a very tough conference softball-wise. There are three teams in our conference in the top 25 in the nation. And we’re currently tied for third in our conference. So it’s a good and a bad. We’d like to be a little better than a third, but knowing we’re competing against teams that are nationally ranked, we feel pretty good.”
Highlight players this season include senior pitcher Emilie Hoelscher, senior catcher Megan Todd and freshman batter Claire Pollack.
Hoelscher is one of the Comets’ three pitchers and is a celebrated athlete as the 23rd-best DIII pitcher in the nation for strikeouts. Hoelscher is nearly number one in every pitching category, the most notable stat being her 69.23% win rate in addition to 89 strikeouts which caused opposing teams to hit the ball only 23.1% of the time. Hoelscher is the No. 1 pitcher for both strikeout categories for the ASC.
“She’s had multiple games where she’s had 10-plus strikeouts, and that’s a big number for pitchers, so it’s been really fun watching her,” Archer said.
Todd is one of the best batters of this season, as she made top three in seven different ASC categories and was also declared a player to watch this season by the ASC league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Todd is No. 1 in seven batting categories among the Comets and number one in four fielding categories, consistently leading games.
“She is loving every minute even though she knows the end is near,” Archer said. “But I tell you what, I’ve seen a kid who just loves every minute that she’s here. And every time she’s up to bat, it’s a threat for the ball to go into the trees. It’s a lot of fun.”
Pollack is one of the newest players on the team and consistently one of the most efficient batters. She holds the team best for 21 runs, 28 hits, 6 stolen bases, 68 turns at batting and is only one out of two Comets to score a single triple. Additionally, Pollack holds the second best in batting average with 41.2%, slugging with 61.8%, 6 doubles, 2 homeruns, 42 total bases run and played the start of the game 21 times. She tied with Todd for most games played at 22 games this season.
As of April 13, the Comets faced their most recent loss against the Dallas Christian Crusaders, breaking the eight-win streak the Comets have fought for every step of the way with a score of 4-5.
The Comets will be facing off against the Austin College ’Roos on April 19, against the East Texas Baptist Tigers on April 21 and 22, and then bringing the LeTourneau Hornets to a home game on April 28 and 29. Before the ASC tournament, Hardin Simmons will be the softball team’s final opponent, who are currently tied for first place against Mary Hardin Baylor.