GV Softball starts spring season strong


GVL Archives

Josh Carlson, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University women’s softball team has gotten off to a good start with their trips to Illinois and Florida, beginning the season 12-1 overall, beating teams by an average of 6.5 runs per game.

Coach Dana Callihan had some questions that needed to be answered this season with the loss of some key contributors on the team. Their trip to Florida was especially helpful in showing Callihan where they’re strengthening as a team.

“We have a lot of options and depth in a few positions,” Callihan said. “It’s just going to be a matter of who’s going to demonstrate the consistency that we need. It gives me options for things like pinch running as well, and those are the things that we really just want to iron out a little bit. Now it’s just seeing who’s going to be that consistent player that’s going to mold our current lineup.”

Leading the offense for the Lakers over the first 13 games has been juniors Lydia Goble (19 hits, .500 average, 2 HR), Joanna Cirrincione (20 hits, .426 average), and Morgan Wagner (12 hits, .333 average, 2 HR), setting the tone for the Lakers’ offense this season.

The Lakers have now scored 101 runs so far this season — 27 more than a season prior — which Callihan credits to the team’s speed and work on baserunning in the offseason.

“We knew speed was going to be an advantage for us,” Callihan said. “And we knew we didn’t have the big power bat in Nikoma Holmen like last year. So, we wanted to make sure that we really focus on that. And in practice, we have focused on good baserunning and making good reads, and knowing when to go and when not to. The players have really embraced that, and I think that has made a difference with us being able to generate a few more runs. They’ve been able to swipe some bases that the defense wasn’t expecting us to take.”

The Lakers have shown dominance from the pitching circle as well. They’re second in the nation with a 1.25 ERA and only 12 runs allowed led by junior Hannah Beatus who has already tallied a no-hitter this season.

As a pitching staff, the Lakers have seen several healthy contributors aside from their ace, Beatus. Sophomore Genesis Eggart (4-1, 2.03 ERA), and junior Hannah Dieck (2-0, .00 ERA) have also rounded out the staff.

“The biggest thing for us is ensuring that — as a staff — we’re one of the best DII staffs that there is,” Beatus said. “That’s kind of our goal is to make sure that we can each be called upon in any situation, against any team in any given moment. Especially when our goal as a team is that chase for the national championship, making sure that you are not just relying on that one arm, it can be extremely beneficial to have a bunch of parts that you can play and different pitchers that you can throw out there.”

Now that the Lakers are traveling home with conference matchups in sight, Beatus says their goal is to play like the team that was unanimously picked to win the GLIAC.

“Dominating and attacking the way that we know we can,” Beatus said. “That’s another thing that we (learned on our trip) — trying to get that consistency piece there. I think especially heading into the GLIAC, it’s just not trying to do too much and not overthinking it and keeping those high expectations that we have for ourselves; not worrying about the outside noise of it all.”