Softball team looks to shake slow start

The Detroit Mercy softball team has had a tough start for the 2021-2022 season. Since starting play in mid-February, the Titans are 0-19.

But the players aren’t deterred.

“Obviously, it is not what we expected, but at the end of the day, we cannot let it affect the rest of our season,” said Freshman Jaiden Lara, who plays first base. “We used those losses as motivation to get better and to overcome our upcoming challenges. We watch film every day to figure out what areas we need to work on, such as working better together as a team and playing for each other. Our main goal is to win the Horizon League so were doing everything we can to get there.”

The team has a final non-conference tune-up game against Western Michigan before Horizon League play starts with an April 1 home match against Green Bay.

Olivia Warrington, a junior pitcher, said the team’s plan has not changed.

"Our goal for the upcoming season is to work hard and play harder all season long in order to come out with a ring,” she said.

The Titans are now three years removed from a Horizon League title, although a handful of players remain from that championship team.

 One is Liz Murphy, a graduate student pitcher who was named the 2019 Horizon League Championship Most Outstanding Player.

“She plays a big part in the team’s leadership, so for that reason, we consider her a key player,” Warrington said.

Although Murphy has struggled this year – 0-12 so far with an 8.84 ERA – the team said they look to her and other upperclassmen for guidance.

“Overall, every player plays a major role, whether they are acting as leaders, cheering from the bench, or in the field making plays,” Warrington said.

She added that Head Coach Marc Gillis, entering his third season in the role after two as an assistant, is very positive and sees things in his players that no one else does.

Gillis and the team know they have talent, Warrington said. Now their main focus is on putting it all together.