By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
A short-lived season.
The Grand Canyon University Club Softball team didn’t get the chance to reach their goal of the National Club Softball Association (NCSA) World Series. The program finished their season much earlier than expected due to the coronavirus pandemic, but with their 15-4 overall record, the Lopes showed a strong performance, which left them to wonder what might have been.
“This year, I honestly felt that my team would have made it to the World Series and competed for the title,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Lindsey Collins, who led them to nationals in 2017. “They had what I needed in a team: heart, fight, motivation, love for the game, and trust. Our opponents were definitely on their toes when we took the field.”
This is a program that had gotten used to having a national ranking and a strong chance at reaching the NCSA World Series, where they finished in the top 3 three years ago.
“This season, I was blessed with a lot of talent,” said Collins. “I had six returning players that were all starters, and 13 new freshmen that helped our squad out. My veterans did an amazing job leading by example and showing the new players how to work hard.”
With a schedule filled with nothing but doubleheaders and tripleheaders, the Lopes faced some of the top teams in the Pacific Region South Conference. GCU hosted seven series at home, including matchups against California State University, Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona Christian University.
“Our team bonded together the whole season, and that started early on—which clearly showed on the field,” said Collins. “Our pitching strength grew, which gave our team more depth. We had three new freshmen pitchers (Molly McHugh, Grace Henson, and Kailee Matlock) that gave us a new kind of depth to join with our returning pitcher, Ashley Fuller.”
The Lopes ended their season on a high note, sweeping Cal-State Fullerton in a three-game series in early March, scoring a total of 49 runs in the process.
With the Lopes’ fourth season completed, Collins made it clear that no one player is more valuable over the other.
“I can’t say that any of my girls stood out because they all did in their own individual part to contribute to our team success as a whole,” said Collins.