By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
Mardi Gras is a holiday of celebration for many people. For the South Alabama Jaguars softball, they spent the Mardi Gras weekend playing against three other non-conference teams in a five-game series called the Mardi Gras Classic. The Jaguars played two games against the Memphis Tigers, two games against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, and one game against the Jacksonville Dolphins.
The Jaguars lost all five games throughout the three-day weekend. While this series is ultimately disappointing for the Jaguars, this was a big step for them to find some sort of efficient and to fix their flaws in their game.
The Jags lost the first game against the Jacksonville Dolphins on Friday with a 6-1 score. The Dolphins were very efficient in suppressing the Jaguars’ batting offense. South Alabama’s pitcher Jenna Hardy and the team’s fielding collapsed by allowing five runs in the third inning.
They lost their second game to the Memphis Tigers on Friday with a 6-3 score. Both the Tigers and the Jaguars gave up 10 hits each from their pitching units, but the Tigers were able to score runs after the second inning. The Jags lost consistency batting after the second inning.
In the third game against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks on Saturday, the Jags lost with a 7-4 score. The Lumberjacks were much more superior in the batting game than the Jags. The Jags were out batted in hits 9-to-3 and the Jags encountered more strikeouts 8-to-1.
On the fourth game of the series Saturday afternoon, the Jaguars lost to the Tigers with a 7-4 in a rematch. The Jaguars and the Tigers had another productive day batting by accounting for 12 hits each. South encountered three fielding errors in the game. Two of their errors allowed runs in the first and second inning.
In the fifth and final game of the series on Sunday afternoon, the Jaguars lost to the Lumberjacks again with a 9-0 score. This game was the worst of both ends of the innings for the Jaguars. South allowed four runs in the second inning and two runs each in the sixth and seventh inning to the Lumberjacks. The Jags did not account for a single hit in the game and encountered 12 strikeouts from the Lumberjacks. This game was emphasized as the Jags running on fatigue due to the many games in those three days.
The Jaguars struggled as a complete team as batting or pitching/fielding would collapse. South did have some players play well individually throughout the Mardi Gras Classic. Freshman outfielder Mackenzie Brasher accumulated 14 at-bats, two runs, five hits, one RBI, three walks, and four games where her batting average was .360 or higher. Her best batting average performance was a .387 in the second game against Memphis on Saturday. She also accounted for 13 putouts.
Senior infielder Katelyn Gruich accumulated 15 at-bats, two runs, four hits, six RBIs, two home runs, and two walks in those five games. Senior infielder Abby Krzywiecki accumulated 13 at-bats, one run, four hits, one RBI, and three walks. Senior outfielder MC Nichols accumulated 14 at-bats, three runs, four hits, one RBI, one triple base play, and four walks. She also accounted for 10 putouts in the fielding game.
The South Alabama Jaguars (4-11) will take part in another five-game series in a three day weekend starting this Friday in Madeira Beach, Florida. The series is labeled ‘The Spring Games’ will face off the Seton Hall Pirates, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, and the Florida Atlantic Owls.