The 2020 softball campaign was cut short for the Lady Royals but it was not before they made great strides as a program. Head coach Cassie Long told us, “Coming into the year, we wanted to focus on creating a foundation that was sustainable. With the girls that we have and the progress that we made as a group, we will pride ourselves on the foundation that was built during this shortened season and look to continuously build from that moving forward.” With this being said, they made a very good case that their foundation is starting out strong. Their season ended with a posted record of 5-5, with them winning their last five games and losing the other five by a combined 9 runs.
When asked about the growth of the program and team coach Long said this, “In the previous year, I constantly second-guessed myself. It was evident to both myself and the team, and it had a trickle-down effect on my girls. This year, the turning point for myself professionally was the amount of trust that I had in my abilities. That confidence not only enhanced my ability to coach and lead these girls, but it also translated into confidence for them as well.” She continued, “As a team, we experienced several injuries, departures, etc. to start the year, and it definitely taught the girls who had bought in a lesson that every athlete needs: this game is a blessing, and should not be taken for granted. Through those experiences, it also allowed us to adopt the “next man up” mindset, that will only be a positive change moving forward. We are looking forward to the challenges set before us in the 20-21 season because of the valuable lessons that we learned from this year.”
The season was looking very promising with the Royals ranked 3rd nationally in batting as a team. They also had a player ranked 2nd nationally in hitting and another ranked 1st in on base percentage. It is truly a shame that we did not get to see this full season of Ecclesia College Softball. It would have been truly special.
Looking forward to next season coach Long said, “The mix of upperclassmen/returners and the current signees should bode well for a successful year both on and off the field.” She said, “The potential that our current roster, mixed with our signees, has both on and off the field makes us feel as if we have the right people, and that is exciting. We expect success on the field due to their abilities as athletes but expect great things from them off the field due to the types of people that they are.”
We are very proud of the program that coach Long is building and look forward seeing where she leads them. This next season will be entered into with high expectations. Follow along here and on our twitter page @ecclesia_royals.