It would be remiss to say that this season has been ideal for the Sam Houston State University Bearkats softball team.
Coming into the year, the team had not tallied a winning season since 2013, but things were looking up after the 2017 season. New and old talent alike aspired to give head coach Bob Brock a sendoff fitting of his historic tenure.
Unfortunately, as the season has progressed, those aspirations never became reality.
The struggles began early on for the Bearkats, dropping eight of their first 10 games including the Bearkat Softball Classic in which they were outscored 32-15. They had to wait until the Bulldog Slamboree in early March to pick up their first positive tournament record.
After that series, things briefly picked up for the Kats when they picked up five wins in six games. That success was fleeting, however, as starting March 17 they would lose their next eight straight matchups.
As of Tuesday, the Bearkats have posted two wins and two losses in the month of April and are the owners of a 14-26 (6-9 against the Southland Conference). The Bearkats are currently in ninth place out of 12 teams in the conference, outpacing only Incarnate Word, Houston Baptist and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Following an 8-4 win hosting Lamar, they will travel to Corpus Christi to take on the 9-28-1 (1-14 SLC) Islanders.
The Bearkats’ biggest struggles have come on the road, having won only three of their 15 away games. Fortunately, they can round out the season on a six game homestand, where they are 7-11 this season.
The season has not been all doom and gloom for the Bearkats; there were quite a few bright spots.
Sophomore outfielder Megan McDonald has made significant strides in her second year on the squad, earning a .299 batting average along with 35 hits and 19 runs, all team highs.
Sophomore infielder Tiffany Thompson has netted a .283 average, five home runs, and 13 RBIs while also stealing 11 bases.
The contributions of Junior pitcher Lindsey McLeod have certainly made an impact as well, posting a 2.55 earned run average in 129 innings pitched while accumulating 145 strikeouts.
With only two seniors departing Huntsville and the immense amount of young talent on the squad, it is reasonable to predict SHSU will see more success in the following seasons. It is certainly unfortunate the team could not muster a better record in Bob Brock’s final season coaching the Bearkats, but the future could be bright for whoever takes the helm after this season.