DeKALB – After winning 10 straight games to start the season, the DeKalb softball team isn’t used to failure.
But during Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Yorkville, the Barbs’ second straight defeat, coach Jeff Davis noticed his players doubting themselves after making multiple outs, even though swinging and missing is inherent in the game.
“Today in the dugout, some of them were saying, ‘What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong? I’ve been going 0 for 3,’ ” Davis said. “They think they should get a hit every time up. They’ve got to understand the game is not that way. There’s more failure than positive. It’s the way the game is.”
The Barbs shot out to a first-inning lead when Sarah Friedlund drove in Sabrina Killeen with a sacrifice hit.
But outs with runners in scoring position and errors crippled the Barbs the rest of the way.
Mistakes hurt DeKalb (10-2, 3-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) in the second inning, when the Barbs committed two errors that led to two Yorkville runs.
“Against Oswego [on Saturday], we beat ourselves, and today we beat ourselves because of errors,” Killeen said. “We didn’t make many errors for the first 10 games.”
The Barbs were able to scratch out a run in the sixth inning to tie the score, when Haley Tadd drove in Lindsey Costliow, and the Barbs had runners at first and second with one out. But those runners were left on base, and Yorkville (13-4, 5-0 NI Big 12 East) was able to tack on another run in the seventh.
Killeen reached third base with one out in the seventh, and two walks loaded the bases with two outs. But all three runners were left on base, and the Barbs lost for the first time in conference play.
“When you’re playing a team that’s pretty equal to you and you kick the ball around, and then from the offensive side, you miss some signs, you’re hoping for that one big hit, and it doesn’t come,” Davis said. “It is what it is. We’ve got to be better defensively, and our offense will come around.”
The Barbs have a chance to start another winning streak Thursday when they play Ottawa. Before then, the Barbs might need to regain some of the confidence that helped carry them to a 10-0 start.
“Our attitudes [need to be different], not beating ourselves up,” DeKalb senior Hannah Walter said. “We keep fighting, but I think we don’t think we have the same intensity that we had.”