By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
Yesterday, the Grand Canyon University Club Softball team split their double-header against Dawson Community College, losing Game 1, 4-2, before battling back in the nightcap to win, 4-3, in the new state-of-the-art GCU Softball Stadium.
The first game of the doubleheader did not favor the Lopes. The Buccaneers struck first with two runs in the top of the 1st inning, then scored two more in the 4th to lead the Lopes, 4-0. Finally, in the bottom of the 5th, the Lopes made a crucial play to finally get on the board with their first run. The Lopes tried to rally with two out in the bottom as GCU senior Launa Jones stepped to the plate and cranked it over the fence for a solo home run. The Lopes then loaded the bases but were unable to score, leaving the tying run in scoring position.
Though the Lopes didn’t get result they wanted, Lopes’ Head Coach Lindsey Collins was impressed. “Though we struggled throughout the game, we stayed positive and stayed together as a team,” said Collins.
The Lopes quickly bounced back in Game 2 with a two-run 1st inning. Each team added a run in the 2nd inning before DCC scored twice in the 3rd to tie up the ball game. The Lopes stayed composed, scoring another run in the 4th inning to regain the lead, and kept control of the game from there.
“We shook off the first game,” said Collins. “The girls were clicking with one another and made some great plays to get this win.”
Multiple players made standout plays in the doubleheader. Collins pointed first to a throw home late in Game 2 by Lopes’ rightfielder Samantha Ortega that gunned down a DCC baserunner at the plate to hold the lead for GCU.
“Ortega’s play towards the end of the second game was a huge game changer,” said Collins. “That throw to home killed any momentum that DCC had, and brought more confidence to us as a team.”
Collins also saluted the play of Lopes’ shortstop Maricella Gonzales. “Gonzales had multiple plays in both games,” said Collins. “She made so many great plays that really ensured the second game win.”
Lastly, Collins was very impressed with the performance of her backup pitcher, Lopes’ freshman Megan Sullivan.
“Megan usually only pitches about three innings, because she loses so much confidence in herself,” said Collins. “Today was different. She stepped up, believed in herself and pitched the whole second game. Our first pitcher, Alexandra Burcham, talked with Megan to hype her up, and I think that really helped in her overall performance. Another instance of our team continuing to build each other up.”
The Lopes are back in action next month as they take on the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona University in a doubleheader in Flagstaff.
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