Softball drops double header at Northern Iowa

The stretch of inconsistent play continues for the Bradley Braves softball team after dropping a pair of games to Northern Iowa on Tuesday.

With just eight regular season matchups left, Bradley picked a poor time to lose eleven of thirteen games, and find themselves below .500 for the first time since February.

Despite this, Junior Bailiegh Basham still has hopes for the team.

“Hopefully we get hot at the right moment to make a run at the tournament,” she said.

If Bradley is unable to make such a run into the tournament, it will not be for a lack of effort on Basham’s part.

Basham, who broke Bradley records for walks (36), hit by pitch (12) and on base percentage (.480) in her first year with the team in 2012 after transferring from Lake Land College, has followed up her first season with another good year.

The right-hander leads the team in batting average, slugging and on-base percentage, and said she is more comfortable on the field.

“I feel pretty good,” Basham said. “My teammates help, [and] I’ve found a little more patience [at the plate].”

Unfortunately for the Braves, Basham’s performance, and those of her teammates has thus far, only managed a sub .500 record.

Basham said she thinks for the Braves to succeed the rest of the way, they’ll need to focus on their approach to the game.

“I think it’s all about preparation,” she said.  “We have to stay focused.”

Especially when going through a rough stretch like the one Bradley finds itself mired in now, it would be easy for Basham and her teammates to find others to blame

For instance, Saturday at the doubleheader against Drake, many in the crowd, and coaches on both sides thought the umpires had missed some calls.

Still, Basham keeps the focus on her team and said they cannot wait for umpires to make calls in their favor.

“We didn’t get all the calls we wanted,” she said. “But we can’t play the game relying on the umpires [to give us the calls we want].”

The Braves may also need to worry about an injury Basham sustained to her hand.

Basham said the reason she did not play in the finale against Drake last Sunday, or the two games versus Missouri State on Tuesday was because of the injury.

“I’ve been having hand issues,” she said. “I’ve been in and out of the doctor’s [office], but hopefully it’s not serious.”

Bradley’s chances of collecting themselves and putting together a few wins heading into postseason play would certainly be hampered if Basham continues to sit out.