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Litany of Pitt teams hope to return to winning ways this weekend - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Litany of Pitt teams hope to return to winning ways this weekend

By Chris Puzia / Sports Editor

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Several Pitt teams are looking toward this weekend as a chance to catch fire and end some recent disappointing runs.

The men’s basketball team enters Saturday’s game on a two-game losing streak, the baseball team had a losing record in each of its three weekend series so far and Pitt’s wrestling team has lost three straight dual matches entering the ACC Tournament.

But it’s not all bad: The softball team is off to a 15-2 start, and several individual swimmers and runners have had strong recent performances.

Here’s a rundown on Pitt sports competition during spring break:

Women’s Basketball

With a loss on Thursday to Virginia Tech, Pitt (19-11, 9-7 ACC) is now eliminated from the ACC Tournament and is done playing for the weekend. The Panthers will now wait until the NCAA Tournament field is announced to see if — or when — they will next play.

Men’s Basketball

The Panthers (19-12, 8-9 ACC) have lost their last two games, Wednesday against Miami and Sunday at Wake Forest, making an already tenuous path to the NCAA Tournament nearly impossible. With a win Saturday at Florida State, Pitt will likely need a deep run in the ACC Tournament to have a chance of crossing the “bubble.”

Currently, ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi has the Panthers in his “next four out” category, meaning the team has a lot of work to do if it wants to play in March Madness.

Wrestling

Pitt wrestling had a much-needed week off last Sunday after losing three straight dual matches and six of its last seven overall. The Panthers (8-8, 2-3 ACC) have wrapped up their dual season with the 24-14 loss to West Virginia on Feb. 22. Next is the ACC Tournament on Sunday.

Pitt hosts the tournament this year, so it will have the luxury of only traveling to the Petersen Events Center to compete with the rest of the conference.

Baseball

After an 18-1 explosion in its first game of the season, Pitt (3-6) has cooled down a bit. The team has not had a winning record in each of its first three weekends, and next the team will travel to Charlottesville, Va., for its three-game weekend series at Virginia.

This weekend does not get any easier: Virginia boasts a 10-0 record, including dominating wins over Marist, La Salle and East Carolina. After that series, the team will finally return to the Charles L. Cost Center to play its first home games against Niagara on Tuesday and Wednesday. After a long road trip to start the season, Pitt’s next seven games are at home.

Softball

Pitt baseball will want to replicate the success the softball team has had, because it just came off of a weekend series with Virginia itself. Pitt (15-2, 2-1 ACC) won two of the three games to continue its hot start.

Next, the Panthers head to Fort Myers, Fla., for the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament, running from Friday through Sunday. The team will play Quinnipiac and Boston University on Friday, and Long Island University-Brooklyn and Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday. Pitt’s performance in those games will determine its final opponent on Sunday.

After that, the team will stay in Florida for a Tuesday doubleheader against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Florida Gulf Coast.

Senior pitcher Savannah King will likely log heavy innings over the weekend based on her 9-0 record with a 1.75 ERA so far this season.

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Litany of Pitt teams hope to return to winning ways this weekend