To start the 2012 season, the road has been unkind to the Marshall softball team.
Before their first home doubleheader of the season against Jackson County Central on Tuesday, the Tigers will return home after starting 0-4 on the road, including an 8-2 non-conference loss on Friday to Morris Area/Chokia-Alberta in Morris.
Finishing with just two hits, what ultimately hurt Marshall, according to head coach Jack Houseman, was MA/CA leadoff hitters getting on base.
"We started every defensive inning with a hit batter or a walk," Houseman said. "We had a couple miscues on defense (with three errors)."
Marshall also had to shuffle its lineup after injuries to senior infielders Hannah Wenker and Jessica Tubbs. Wenker went to right field, while Tubbs was in the left corner of the outfield.
"There was a little bit of (shuffling)," Houseman said. "Amy Welu was at shortstop and there's still a learning curve there. And we had Callie (Graff) and Miranda (Fischer) switching between second and pitcher."
Trailing 8-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Marshall was finally able to get on the board. Brooke Louwagie drove home Maci Louwagie on an RBI triple. Brooke Louwagie would later reach home on a sharp grounder by Kelli VanLeeuwe that resulted in a MA/CA fielding error.
Of the Tigers' six runs this season, five have come in the seventh inning.
"It's disappointing that we're not getting runs until the sixth or seventh," Houseman said. "We tend to wait around on offense."
Looking for the first win of the season, Marshall will take on JCC at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Marshall Softball Complex.
Marshall000 000 2-2 2 3
MA/CA001 421 X-8 7 2
MAR-Miranda Fischer, Callie Graff (5); MA/CA-Mckenzie Van Batavia. WP-Van Batavia. LP-Fischer. 3B: MAR-Brooke Louwagie. 2B: MAR-Maci Louwagie; MA/CA-Van Batavia, Steph Hennen.