By Dan Hilton, Special to the Chronicle
The road has not been kind to the Hofstra softball team, especially in the early part of the season. After going 0-3 at the Pirate Clash in North Carolina, the Pride continued its struggles at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
Hofstra (0-8) played two games on Friday, starting with a match-up against no. 17 Louisiana-Lafayette.
Junior Becca Bigler's third home run of the season and four runs of its own was not enough to complete a comeback from four runs down as Louisiana-Lafayette topped the Pride 5-4.
Its second game on Friday was just as heartbreaking, losing to Illinois 2-0.
On day two of the Classic, the Pride met no. 10 Tennessee and no. 12 Michigan. In both games, Hofstra once again fell to a nationally ranked opponent by one run or less.
A positive for the Pride against Tennessee was the performance of senior pitcher Erin Wade, who held the Lady Volunteers to just three runs in seven innings while recording her third consecutive complete game to start the season.
It would all be in vain as the Lady Vols triumphed 3-2.
Later that day, it was more of the same, but this time Hofstra had its heart broken on a walk-off double from Michigan's Bree Evans. The Pride did well to erase a 2-0 deficit, scoring two runs in the seventh, but it was not to be as Evans gave the Wolverines the 3-2 win.
With so many games coming down to one or two runs, head coach Bill Edwards finds that hitting with runners in scoring position could be the difference between a win and a loss.
"We're hitting very close to .500 with the lead-off hitter," Edwards said. "But we're hitting .089 with runners in scoring position."
The final day of the NFCA Leadoff Classic found the Pride pitted against DePaul. Olivia Galati's bat came alive as the junior pitcher and designated player went two-for-two with a walk. Nevertheless, there would be no comeback this time as the Pride could not get the offense going, losing to the Blue Demons 3-0.