Softball scrimmage begins with concussions, ends with positivity

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During a Blue/White softball scrimmage on Thursday, where Cougars were separated into two teams and pitted against one another, two players collided in an attempt to catch a fly ball but only sustained minor injuries.

Because the scrimmage was meant to seem like a real game, the coaches encouraged the team to go out and finish the game, reminding the players of the experienced trainers and doctors on campus who were capable to fix up any injured players.

“They both have concussions,” head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Tiffany Messerschmidt has a staple in her head from a cut she received. Krista Hicks has several stitches on the outside of her lip and several on the inside of her lip. I think the biggest thing is the concussions; they’re going to need time to heal from those.”

Senior Stacie Toney explained it was lack of communication that resulted in the collision.

“That’s the one thing we’ve been working on — a lot of communication,” Toney said. “It’s a learning experience. It’s tough, it’s hot, it’s everything, but that’s how life is, and that’s how the game is.”

Aside from the concussion incident, which took place during the 2nd inning, the remainder of the scrimmage ended on a good note. Though the blue and white teams traded around players during the game, not sticking to the all-blue, all-white initial team presentation, the final score was 5-3 with the white team ahead.

“There were encouraging things,” Eakin said. “[The girls] played hard, battled through … [it was] obviously a tough day, injury-wise. The team could’ve just folded after it started out that way, but they didn’t. They played good defensively, pitching performed well, [they] executed some nice plays on squeeze bunts and some offensive execution went well. It was encouraging for just two weeks in and for our first real scrimmage.

The softball team plays its next game against Utah Valley University on Oct. 4.

“We’re stoked [for UVU],” Toney said. “That’s what we live for — to play games, so we’re way excited. It’s UVU and we play them a lot, so we’re really familiar with them, but again, they’ve got new players and we’ve got new players, so we’re excited. We’re excited to go out and take it to them.”

Although the game isn’t a scrimmage, and a clear-cut winner will be defined, Eakin doesn’t plan to focus on just winning.

“In the fall, it’s more about learning about our team and seeing where our players are at,” Eakin said. “So we’ll play a lot of players and try some things to see where we’re at. Offensively it’s more about development of the team than winning at this point of the year.”

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