By: K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
It’s been an off-season filled with incorporating new players to an already impressive roster, but that’s over now for the Grand Canyon University Club Softball team. The Lopes’ season officially begins this weekend with a road trip to Los Angeles, California for a tripleheader against the University of Southern California.
How did a “World Series-Caliber” Team Improve?
“We have a much faster team this year which changes the game up,” said Lopes’ Club Softball Head Coach Lindsey Collins. “We’re more aggressive on the bases, and we have quite a few girls who can turn a single into a double. World Series is a focal point. The returners are setting the tone with that same fire they had from last year, and having such strong newcomers, we can get that done, but it all starts this weekend.”
GCU’s pitching is one part of the team’s game that will be featuring a new dynamic. For Lopes’ pitchers Alex Burcham and Meg Sullivan, however, this challenge is one of many the pair readily embrace. Burchman, who is a returning pitcher, is coming off a torn labrum and hip. Meanwhile, Sullivan is new to the team, and a freshman criminal justice major at the school.
“This is was the first time I’ve dealt with a serious injury,” said Burchman. “The support of my girls carried me every day. They have been picking me up since day one, and I’m excited to finally get back to the field. I’ll be able to bond more with Meg so we can work off each other better.”
“Working with Alex will be awesome,” added Sullivan. “She’s a lefty and I’m a righty, so we can create lots of problems for teams.”
The excitement levels are racing high for the talented group of girls, and they will finally get to use it in games that actually count towards the road to the World Series.
“There’s pressure because the expectation is going to Georgia, and there’s no doubt we know we’re going, but I handle it just by focusing and helping us win any way I can,” said Sullivan. “Whether it’s pitching, hitting, or cheering on my teammates, I’ll do anything to help us win this weekend.”