DeKALB – DeKalb softball coach Jeff Davis knows that opposing teams may be scouting the Barbs late in the season as the playoffs near, looking for any small piece of information to give them an edge in the postseason.
The Barbs didn't come out on top against Burlington Central on Monday in a 5-3 loss, but Davis thinks the Barbs were able to show something positive to those watchful eyes after rallying to tie the game in the sixth inning.
“It shows that we're not going to give up and lay down,” Davis said. “As we get late in the season here there's a lot of people from other schools scouting teams like this, and they're looking for tendencies and weaknesses and stuff like that, and [Monday], I think we showed whoever was watching us that we're not going to lay down and die and let you beat us, we're going to play for seven innings.”
The Barbs (18-6) were shut down for most of the game by Burlington Central pitcher Brooke Gaylord, and the Rockets (24-2) scored two in the third inning before tacking on another in the fourth.
After tallying just two hits in the first five innnings, the Barbs rallied in the sixth, kickstarted by Lindsey Costliow's RBI single, which drove in Hannah Walter. Sarah Friedlund then tripled to drive in Costliow before Taylor Garland drove her in with an infield single.
The Barbs dropped the game in the seventh inning, but the rally gave them a positive outlook.
“This definitely keeps our spirits high because we know we can come back if we need to,” Friedlund said. “We just have to come out with the energy that we have when we're fighting back all the time.”
Monday's loss began a tough week, which includes games against Yorkville, St. Charles East and Kaneland. The Barbs are looking at this week as preparation for the playoffs, which start next Wednesday.
“It was a tough loss, but it was a good game for us,” pitcher Katie Kowalski said. “They're a really good team. All of our games this week are against tough competition, but it's perfect for us right now to get us ready for the postseason.”
DeKalb will head to Algonquin to take on Huntley next Wednesday to kick off what Davis hopes is a deep postseason run. If they do go deep into the playoffs, Davis thinks this week will have them ready for what is to come.
“It's going to be an emotional roller coaster, there are going to be ups and downs, you're going to have good innings and bad innings,” Davis said. “It's all in how we handle it.”