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Raiders work to regain identity after tough losses

BOLINGBROOK – Lately, Bolingbrook’s softball team has been going through a bit of an identity crisis.

A team that has been solid offensively and defensively most of the season struggled in both areas in a 4-0 loss to Sandburg on Monday. The Raiders managed just two hits, struck out 10 times and committed four errors.

“This is not us,” Bolingbrook coach Jean Ryan-Moak said. “This was 10 strikeouts and a ton of errors. Usually its 10 hits and maybe one or two errors. This is definitely not the team we’ve been.”

A loss to Joliet West on April 25 came in similar fashion, which has Ryan-Moak scratching her head as to what caused the downturn.

“For whatever reason, the last two games we haven’t made the plays and the bats haven’t been there,” the coach said. “We have to work our way out of the slump. I don’t know what it is.”

Sophomore pitcher Megan Lotarski struck out six batters Monday, but nine hits and two walks with the four errors made it a battle all game long. Like her coach, she had trouble explaining the Raiders’ (8-5 overall, 2-4 SouthWest Suburban Blue) recent slump.

“This season we’ve been doing pretty well,” Lotarski said. “We’re a good hitting team, and when we’re on we’re a good fielding team, too. For the most part we’ve been consistent, but there’s been some ups and downs every now and then.”

As the postseason starts to creep up (regionals begin May 20), Lotarski is looking at self-improvement as a way to help the team improve before the playoffs.

“The big things for me is to pitch better, but I also need to hit better because I’m not the most consistent with that,” Lotarski said. “I think we could all be more consistent hitting because that’s a big part of the game.”

Ryan-Moak just wants her team to return to the well-rounded squad that raced out of the gates.

“We’ve been pretty well-rounded, it’s just the last couple of games we haven’t had the bats and the defense,” the coach said. “It’s easy to stay intense when things are going well and you’re winning, but you need it most when you’re losing. We just need to dig deep and find it.”

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