The Lady Sharks softball team has dropped seven straight games and is 1-7 in February. Their last victory was a 7-6 win against St. Thomas University on Feb. 2.
They are 3-9 on the season.
Despite the rough start, head coach Gina De Agüero is optimistic the team can adjust and get the season back on track.
“We know we can win as a team,” De Agüero said. “We just got to put the final product together and push through for the entire seven innings of the game.”
Difficulties closing out games has been the root cause of their losses; four of the team’s losses have been decided by no more than two runs.
On the season, the team has a .314 batting average and a .380 slugging percentage with 30 runs batted in. The Lady Sharks believe they can fix the problems before conference play begins in March.
“We need to be able to bounce back and not play on our heels but, rather turn it around and step it up and take it to the next level,” De Agüero said. “We have to just apply all that when it comes to the games and everyone will get on the same page. At the end of the day its conference where we have to win and that’s where we need to be together as a team.”
Sophomore infielder Eliza Artiles, who suffered a posterior cruciate ligament and meniscus tear at the end of last season, serves as one of the team’s leaders. Artiles has a .361 batting average, a .389 slugging percentage and has six runs scored and six stolen bases in 10 games.
Despite her previous injuries, Artilies is known for playing with a full throttle, all-out style that is contagious. She believes the team is on the cusp of breaking through following their latest losing streak.
“We just got to push a little bit harder and stay focused and we’ll come right back on it,” Artilies said. “We tense up in key moments, but our strength is that we have the talent, the potential and people on our team that really want to win.”
Another early-season star for the Lady Sharks has been sophomore infielder Lishanty Guillermo. She has a .552 batting average, a .665 slugging percentage, three doubles and four runs batted in during 33 plate appearances.
“I’m ready to push harder, so I hope that the rest of the team is as well,” Guillermo said. “I think we have it and we’re ready.”
Guillermo believes that this year’s team is more united than last year’s 30-loss team but they just have to stay focused and close out games. She has become one of the team’s vocal leaders.
“With the girls, I try to encourage them the best I can,” Guillermo said. “I tell them how good they are and they have to believe in themselves. I want to lift their energy when they are down and do what a teammate needs to do.”
The Lady Sharks’ next game is on the road versus Daytona State College on March 2 at 12 p.m.