GV softball holds on to first game positives as second weekend fall-ball matches get canceled


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James Herrick, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University women’s softball began their 2021 fall season when they traveled to Westfield Indiana on Sunday, Sept. 12 to take part in a doubleheader of scrimmages. The Lakers faced off against the University of Evansville and Marian University.

Since these games were scrimmages, the game’s details cannot be made public. However, GVSU walked away from these games with a lot of positives to look back on.

“That was probably the best fall game our team collectively has had in the time I’ve been here,” said graduate student pitcher, Hannah Beatus. “There was some really awesome stuff. Usually, you have a team live pitching so hitting tends to be a little rockier in the fall, but our hitters came out and played awesomely. Our defense was great, and our pitching was really great. Our past fall games this weekend definitely really got us excited.”

These scrimmages left head coach, Dana Callihan, happy with what she saw from the team as well.

“We played very well,” Callihan said. “I thought our team chemistry was solid, I thought we were extremely aggressive at-bat, we put the ball in play, made a lot of things happen, scoring runs; we were just really aggressive. So, I was very, very pleased with that.”

The fall softball season allows teams to gain some experience before heading into the crucial spring season. For GVSU, this means evaluating new players on the roster and growing team chemistry.

“I am trying to see what the new players can do,” Callihan said. “So, in the fall, there is a lot of observing. We are trying to get the new players introduced to the way we do things, and getting them used to new teammates.”

This emphasis on improving team chemistry led to a great team atmosphere during the scrimmages.

“I mean we have only had a few practices together, so the whole trying-to-build-team-chemistry thing is a work in progress,” Beatus said. “But we had some awesome energy over the weekend, and that was super consistent, so that was great. When you have a newer team with younger players who are not used to the way things roll on our team, that can sometimes be a weakness. But we have definitely been able to turn it into a strength.”

GVSU softball was going to have a pair of opportunities to take the field on Sunday, Sept. 19 at home against Muskegon Community College and Valparaiso University. However, as a result of COVID-19 protocols, the scrimmages had to be canceled. There is no further information on the cancellations at this time.

“We are doing everything we need to do to prevent spread,” Callihan said. “Whatever battle is placed in front of us, we will deal with and move forward.”

Optimistically, these are only scrimmages that are being canceled. While these can help prepare for the spring season, they do not hold any weight during regular or post-season come the spring.

“I am not worried about the fall,” Callihan said. “It’s the fall. If it is going to happen, now is the time. This is just a practice season. We will get through our fall and we have got a long way to go before the spring.”

As we are in year two of COVID-19 affecting collegiate athletics, this life of cancellations and surprises is nothing new to student-athletes.

“It’s definitely a bummer,” Beatus said. “We went through it all last year and I think in a sense we are used to the adversity at this point.”

The possibility of rescheduling the two canceled scrimmages is still on the table at this point. However, as of right now, GVSU softball has one scrimmage left on the schedule as they plan on taking on Aquinas College at home on Friday, Oct. 1.