Two swings of the bat on Thursday kept Campbell’s season alive and hopes for a third Atlantic Sun Softball Championship title.
The Camels hit 51 pitches over the fence this season – 17 more than their opponents – and according to head coach Drew Peterson it was no fluke to see the long ball in play against Kennesaw State in the tournament’s first elimination game.
“The long ball is a part of what we want to do offensively. We like to mix speed with power and have that balance throughout our lineup. The main thing with our girls is we want them to make confident swings, swing at good pitches and believe in themselves we feel in the course of a seven inning game two or three of our players will connect on one and give us a chance to win.”
Campbell’s balance was on display as the third batter, Lauren Stephan, and sixth batter, Raven Lee, both connected on three-run homers to propel the Camels to the 7-1 victory. Lee’s homer in the fourth inning put CU ahead, while Lauren Stephan’s four-bagger the following inning put the game out of reach.
With four homers this season against the Owls, Stephan showcased Campbell’s batting mentality in her third at-bat after failing to connect in her first two hitting appearances.
“I struck out in my first two at-bats so I went up there in my third try and I wanted to do whatever I could to help the team and give us a few more runs so I tried to battle with (Abbey Meixel) in the at-bat and then I saw a quality pitch and I swung at it.”
With elite pitching squads on all the remaining teams in the tournament, Peterson and the Camels are confident in their hitting prowess.
“We can’t in any way give (opposing pitchers) too much credit because they have to throw the ball over the plate three times and we only have to hit one of them and we have to keep that mentality against them.”