As the Pittsburgh Panthers (13-10-1, 2-1-0) get ready for their trip to Chapel Hill, N.C. to take on the Tarheels on Friday, junior pitcher Sarah Dawson answered some of my questions about how her team is performing as they start a bulk of their ACC schedule (they went 2-1 against N.C. State to start the month).
Now a junior, Sarah boasts a 2.25 ERA and has 8 wins and 6 loses on the season; she has started 10 contests with 1 complete game. Dawson also struck out a season-high 7 batters in 7 innings in a victory over Coastal Carolina at the end of last month.
We wish Sarah and Pitt the best of luck this Friday, and for the rest of the season.
Q1: As you prepare to begin a majority of your conference play this Friday, what is the biggest thing you need to focus on as a team?
“I would say that we as a collective whole need to place more focus on the little things, like quality throws and tough defense. Conference games are usually very close, so the little things can decide whether we win or lose.”
Q2: Having played nearly 25 games so far, what are your strengths as a team and as an individual?
“Our team has awesome chemistry with each other and we pride ourselves in supporting one another, which is a really important quality to have with such a long season. I think individually I provide a lot of energy to our team whether it’s on the mound or in the dugout, so I try to bring the same amount of energy to every game to get us going.”
Q3: Has anything surprised you so far this season that you didn’t expect going in?
“So far this season, we’ve had a lot of lineup changes and switches in the order, and I’m really impressed with how our team has handled and attacked all of those changes.”
Q4: What can you still improve upon as the season progresses?
“As a team, we can improve on trying to score early in each game. I think once we do that, it will put less pressure on both the offense and defense. Personally, I know I can improve on my ball locations, and throwing the ball lower in the zone.”