By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
Swinging for wins.
The Grand Canyon University Club Softball team opened up National Club Softball Association (NCSA) play with a tripleheader sweep of the University of Southern California, 16-5, 21-14 and 20-4, Saturday at the Glendale Sports Complex in Glendale, California. The Lopes’ sweep ups their overall record to 10-3.
“This weekend had a lot of emotional buildup to it,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Lindsey Collins. “Being our first series and away series, there were a lot of butterflies in everyone’s stomachs – including mine.”
The Lopes had important performances by freshman catcher Vanessa Urias and freshman pitcher Molly McHugh.
GCU’s Urias was behind the plate for all three games and went 10-for-16 at the plate.
“Vanessa’s confidence and knowledge of the game comes across as if she was an upperclassman,” said Collins. “She does a great job communicating to her team and keeping the flow of the game.”
GCU’s McHugh dominated USC on the mound in the first game of the series, and went 3-for-6 with a triple.
“Molly started out the first game on the mound and shut USC down quickly,” said Collins. “Molly is also a great hitter. She has a great presence on the mound and is very intense. She throws hard and does a great job placing the ball.”
The Lopes had a dominant offensive performance, hitting no less than .459 collectively in each game.
“They came out strong, and everyone hit – and I mean everyone,” said Collins. “We had rallies of about eight hitters hitting through the lineup in one inning.”
A new team brings new talent, which will drive the Lopes forward this season.
“I have six returning players and twelve freshmen,” said Collins. “My freshman class has a tremendous amount of talent and has added major depth to our team. I was very pleased to see how they worked together as a team and fought through every inning, giving it their all. We learned a lot on and off the field this weekend, which will make us a better team next series.”
The Lopes are back in action Feb. 15 as they take on San Diego State University in a tripleheader home series at North Canyon High School in Phoenix beginning at 10 am.