It's easy for Madras fastpitch coach Charlie Brown to pinpoint just what has been ailing his team lately.

It's the hits, or in the Buffs' case, a serious lack of them.

"We can't hit the ball," Brown said. "All we need to do to get out of the funk we're in is to start hitting like we're capable of."

That funk is a 0-2 start to Tri-Valley Conference play. The Buffs dropped close games to Gladstone and La Salle last week, managing a total of three hits over both games.

That, combined with double-digit strike outs and unearnerd runs allowed has the Buffs on the bottom of the league standings looking up.

In a 4-0 loss to Gladstone, Madras managed just a single hit while striking out 15 times as a team, 10 times swinging and five times looking.

And on top of that, two errors led to all four Gladstone runs being unearned.

It’s hard to win ball games that way.

Things were pretty much the same against La Salle as the Buffs collected just two hits and again saw too many unearned runs cross the plate.

But Brown is not about to panic.

Madras (4-8, 0-2) has very winnable games this week against Estacada and Molalla and with some extra batting practice during Monday's workout, Brown is hoping to right the ship.

"We've been getting ourselves behind in the count and having to swing at junk," he said. "We just have to trust our bats and stop looking for that perfect pitch."

Despite the 0-2 league start, Brown said he is pleased with the way the team is playing. A few key errors have hurt, but for the most part, the defense has been solid.

Shortstop Shelby Mauritson turned a pair of doubles plays last week to keep games close.

Pitcher Jasmyn Reese has been great in the circle, but there just haven’t been very many runs in support of her.

"I'm confident we'll get it back," Brown said.

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