Losing a 3-2 lead in the final inning is frustrating, but that happens, and Augusta’s softball team will have to live with that.
Coach Shane Steinkamp was more upset about the Orioles’ 8-0 loss in the opening game against Maize South to start Thursday night’s doubleheader than the 6-3 loss in the nightcap. On Senior Night, no less.
“I think the shutout shows we did not mentally come to play in game 1. Offensively we were not aggressive, we were undisciplined. We were undisciplined all night at the plate,” Steinkamp said.
The Orioles pieced together just five hits in the opener and made some costly mistakes to give away game 2 as they got swept in their home finales.
That wasn’t the final memory senior Katy Nordman was hoping for at the start of the day.
“Looking back at the field right now, it’s kind of sad. This has been my home for four years. The summers I’ve been here, I’ve been out here all the time,” Nordman said. “It’s a little disappointing to end like that.”
With the two losses, Augusta drops to 14-4 with the regular-season finale scheduled for Monday at Buhler. While the Orioles can take the losses with a slight grain of salt—Maize South is one of the best teams in Class 5A—they know there is still work to be done to get ready for another run at State.
“I hate to lose with a passion, but it is something we can learn from,” Steinkamp said.
“We can’t get big heads. We’ve got to stay focused and work just as hard as we have all season,” said senior Casady Marlnee.
Marlnee, who only had been a part of the team the past two seasons, has made the most of her time with the program after transferring from Bluestem.
“It means a lot more that we’re a successful team. Tonight doesn’t really show how successful we are. We had one bad inning in each game,” Marlnee said. “It means a lot that our team has a lot of chemistry and that there are other talented people around me.
“It’s good that everyone took me in, let me play and catch,” Marlnee added.
Senior Abby Tipton got a scare against Maize South after getting hit by a pitch. She has had an interesting journey with the Orioles, especially after changing positions twice. Bre Burkett also has had her ups and downs with the team, but the Orioles’ four seniors made a great impact on the team and adjusted well to a new coach.
“It’s a diverse senior group, but it’s a group that’s making an impact with us,” Steinkamp said. “...They’ve been a great group.”