Tawni Bartells scorched a ground ball right at the shortstop.
Krista Copus fouled off five consecutive pitches before lacing a single back up the box.
The Merced College softball team certainly has the potential to be an offensive presence, but consistently putting good swings on the ball has been a challenge.
Wednesday afternoon's 1-0 home loss to Taft was a microcosm of the entire season.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Modesto Bee
The She-Devils were two-hit by Taft's Allie Carrigan and shutout for the seventh time this season.
Losing is never fun, but what frustrated MC coach Suzanne Burrola was the way the team never competed.
"We just weren't ready to play today," Burrola said. "The kids need to remember that anybody can beat us on any given day.
"You watch us take batting practice and you watch swing in the game and you wouldn't know we're the same team.
"It doesn't matter how many times we talk about it in practice, they're not stepping to the plate thinking about the game situations.
"We're trying to just put the ball in play, and that doesn't cut it at this level."
Taft (2-2 Central Vallay Conference) scored an unearned run in the first inning, but the She-Devils never threatened to get back into the game.
Failed sacrifice bunts, lack of aggressiveness when ahead in the count and just feeble swings left Burrola visibly fuming.
The performance was particularly disappointing after MC (2-2 CVC, 3-12) had shown signs of life in its last three games.
"We just weren't ourselves today," freshman shortstop Leslie Grissom said. "We'd really played much better over the weekend and against West Hills on Tuesday, so this was disappointing.
"We showed what we could do over the weekend. We still lost to Ohlone 5-4, but they're a good team and we were right there with them."
The She-Devils won't have to wait long to atone. MC hosts Porterville today at 2 p.m.
Burrola hopes Wednesday's contest was just a minor hiccup on the road to offensive consistency.
After scoring 14 runs in a victory over Modestio in its second game of the season, MC racked up just four total runs in its next nine contests.
The She-Devils' anemic offense finally registered a pulse against Ohlone over the weekend and followed that up with 13 runs in a two-game sweep of West Hills on Tuesday.
So, while the team's batting average still hangs well below the Mendoza line, the signs of an upswing are undeniably there.
"They gained a lot of their confidence back from the weekend, but they have to keep working," Burrola said. "We have the ability. The girls have to do something with it."
At Merced College
Taft 100 000 0 -- 1 5 1
Merced College 000 000 0 -- 0 2 1
Allie Carrigan and Monica Lovato. Tawni Barttels, Danielle Almeida (5) and Kaitlin Sharke. WP -- Carrigan. LP -- Barttels.
TAFT -- None.
MERCED COLLEGE -- None.
Records: Taft 2-2 CVC, 2-9-1; Merced College 2-2 CVC, 3-12.