Wayne State softball coach Shelli Manson feels a stumble down the home stretch of the regular season was a blessing in disguise as the Wildcats head to Sioux Falls for the Northern Sun Conference Tournament.
The Wildcats had the league lead heading into the final weekend before dropping four straight games, including three by one run, and after 21-9 finish in the league race are the fifth seed in the double-elimination tournament.
“It is a tough pill to swallow but they know what went wrong those games and we know how to fix them”, said Manson. “I think it is a true test when you go through that kind of adversity to turn around the following day and put a team away. If we had lost that game I would be worried but I am not now.”
Three games separated first from fifth place and the tournament lacks an overwhelming favorite. The Wildcats depend on senior pitcher Cassy Miller (21-15) and Manson says they need to avoid an early trip to the losers bracket to keep the stress off the pitching staff.
Wayne State opens Thursday afternoon against fourth seeded Augustana. The teams split a doubleheader back in late March.
“They are always tough. They are just one of those tough, gritty teams that you need to go out and play your best game against. They are usually a lot of fun to play so it should be a good game.”