UH battles fatigue, opponents in contests
After a 5-1 weekend, UH is still not satisfied. The Cougars hope to build on their appearance in the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic last weekend by using the experience gained all week in preparation for the Houston Invite this weekend at Cougar Softball Field.
“Every time we go out, we approach it as a lesson to see where to get better,” said head coach Kyla Holas.
Holas said the squad is shifting the focus of practice according to what worked and what didn’t last weekend. As fatigue proved to be a problem late in the last tournament, Holas has adjusted the team’s practice regimen accordingly.
After playing six games in the Hilton Plaza Classic, the Cougars will compete in another five this week, including back-to-back games Friday and Saturday and a midweek contest against Texas A&M on Wednesday.
“The pitchers have been working on getting their arms loose, since they’re still really sore, and the hitters have been working on squaring up on outside pitches,” Holas said. “We try to challenge them with exercise first and then force them to get three outs.”
Holas wants her players to get used to the feeling of having to make big plays while tired in practice, so they will have no problem performing during important moments in all five games this weekend.
Senior Kendra Cullum said the workouts are helpful and will result in success on the diamond.
“The coaches make us as tired as we can be so that we can focus on the little things and make the routine plays more routine,” Cullum said.
Junior outfielder Sydney Gerbracht said she hopes that the team can make a big impact this coming weekend, but with the team facing new opponents, making adjustments will be a key to success.
“We never want to underestimate an opponent, but we definitely want to come out with five wins this weekend,” Gerbracht said. “We’re going to stay strong offensively and make aggressive plays on defense every time we go out.”
But the Cougars’ goals are more than just a five-win weekend. Holas said the work the Cougars are putting in during practice will not only help them come out on top this weekend, but reach their goal of a NCAA Championship.