For the second time in three games, one the NAIA most prolific offenses this season was shut out.
It has been a tough weekend for the Cavs and coach D.J. Sanchez, whose team came into the tournament having scored the most runs of any team in the NAIA this season.
“It was almost tough to watch as a coach, because we’ve seen them be so good for the majority of the season and be sound and be clean and come up with clutch hits,” Sanchez said. “But it doesn’t always happen that way.
“I think we saw some of our “youngness” come out, for lack of a better word. We aren’t graduating a ton of kids and this is a team that has never been in this position before, and I think we saw that come out.
“It was just unfortunate the way we didn’t come up with timely hits and it happens, it was just too bad that it happened in the world series.”
Sanchez said she recognized the strength of her opponent, but it was difficult to recognize her own team.
“They have good pitching and we knew that going in. But for as well offensively as we had done all season, we didn’t see it a lot during the world series.
“Our pitching was really good at times and we gave up more runs than we had given up all season. It’s a bad time for it to happen, but we just didn’t really have it. It didn’t feel like the same team we’ve seen going through conference and going through the opening round.”
The Cavs sent all three of their starting pitchers out, but couldn’t seem to slow down the Blue Raiders. Devon Frazier, who came off a solid performance on Saturday, gave way to Sierra Gallego early on.
“Devon threw unbelievably Saturday against Simpson,” Sanchez said. “She threw a great game and we thought Lindsey Wilson would be a good matchup for her. She didn’t throw badly, but Lindsey Wilson was aggressive and they were squaring her up. Even her outs were hard outs, so we were trying to get their rhythm off a little early and Sierra held them off for a while.”
Then the seniors stepped aside to allow an underclassmen some work.
“Mollie Carter is a freshman and she has so much potential. Hopefully that’s a name you hear a lot of the next couple of years because she has the potential to do something special in the circle, so we wanted to make sure when they were getting on Sierra a little that we got Mollie some time out there and that she got her feet wet in the postseason.”
The season has come to an end for St. Gregory’s, but the Cavs have had a historic season. The 52-12 record gives the program it’s highest winning percentage (.813) in its history. SGU also came away with the regular season Sooner Athletic Conference title, and of course, has been playing in the NAIA world series – the program’s sixth appearance and second one in three seasons.
“We had a great group,” Sanchez said. “Our seniors did a tremendous job and it’s sad to see them go, especially on this note. But they worked hard and led us the right way.
“And we’re really excited about what the future holds. We have an unbelievable group of underclassmen, some great freshmen in Dani Nissen and Brooklyn Sparks and Mollie Carter. We have Randi Yousey and Courtni Clark and a whole group of juniors back. And we’re thankful for what our seniors did and how hard this whole team worked all season.”