Lakers eye improvement

The Oswego State softball team is 6-10 overall and 3-3 in SUNYAC play, with its most recent games a doubleheader sweep over SUNY Fredonia. (Jessica Bagdovitz | The Oswegonian)
The Oswego State softball team is 6-10 overall and 3-3 in SUNYAC play, with its most recent games a doubleheader sweep over SUNY Fredonia. (Jessica Bagdovitz | The Oswegonian)

Thus far, the 2013 Oswego State softball team has had a season defined by lost opportunities, but with the potential to improve.

The weather has easily been Oswego State’s greatest rival this season, as rainouts have canceled two important SUNYAC conference games and seven games overall. The Lakers were also robbed of a chance at a comeback against Buffalo State on Friday. Trailing the Bengals 14-10 in the second game of a doubleheader, the game was suspended due to darkness in only the fifth inning, leaving Oswego State on the wrong end of the abbreviated contest.

The Lakers are currently 6-10 overall and 3-3 in conference play, good enough for eighth in the SUNYAC standings. However, this record is deceiving. If the Lakers had won both of their canceled conference games, the team could be sitting in the No. 3 spot in the conference. Aside from New Paltz, leading the way with an 8-0-conference record, the remainder of the SUNYAC is still wide open.

With 22 regular season games left to play, including 12 conference games, head coach Casey Price is confident her team has what it takes to reach one of the top spots in the SUNYAC.

“We’ve beaten some really good teams this year,” Price said. “It just goes to show you that we can play with anyone.”

With a young, developing pitching staff, Oswego State has fallen back on its biggest strength: offense. The Lakers are second in the conference in terms of overall offense, with freshman shortstop Tori Travato leading the way. Travato leads Oswego State in all major offensive categories this season. The leadoff hitter has compiled 19 RBI to go along with three homeruns, and 16 runs scored. Travato is also hitting a gaudy .452 on the season, the fourth-best average in all of SUNYAC.

“[Travato] has been hitting the ball like crazy.” Price said. “She’s on fire.”

Price has been able to get consistent offensive production from top to bottom this season. She attributes her team’s success to the dedication of her individual players.

“You’re only as good as when your coach isn’t around, and these girls are always in the weight room or in the batting cage, looking to get better,” Price said. “We’ve got depth at the plate this year.”

On the other side of the diamond, Oswego State knows there is still room for improvement.

“Sometimes we don’t always communicate out there on defense like we should be,” senior catcher Brooke Radley said. “But we’re working on it in practice everyday and we’re getting a lot better at it.

Perhaps the toughest challenge for this Laker team is consistency.

“There are ups and downs in a season, and staying on the up is the tough part,” junior third baseman Dee Apps said. “We need to keep the bats hot, and the defense solid. If we communicate and minimize the errors we’ll be in a good spot.”

Oswego State will make the trip to Potsdam for an important conference double-header this Saturday.

The Oswego State softball team has 22 games remaining on its schedule, all of them coming in 11 doubleheaders. The Lakers’ final game of the year is April 27. (Jessica Bagdovitz | The Oswegonian)
The Oswego State softball team has 22 games remaining on its schedule, all of them coming in 11 doubleheaders. The Lakers’ final game of the year is April 27. (Jessica Bagdovitz | The Oswegonian)
(Jessica Bagdovitz | The Oswegonian)
(Jessica Bagdovitz | The Oswegonian)