GRAND VALLEY STATE LAKERS (44-9 ALL, 24-2 GLIAC/1st)
2019 Grand Valley State Preview
The reigning GLIAC Regular Season and Tournament Champion Grand Valley State softball team made their eighth straight – and 16th overall – NCAA Tournament appearance at the end of a 2018 campaign that saw them finish 44-9 overall and 24-2 in the league. Head coach Dana Callihan enters 2019 with a 152-57 (.730) record in her five years at the helm of the program and returns 13 letterwinners – a group that includes four All-GLIAC honorees, two All-Region performers, and one All-American standout.
The Lakers return two of their three pitchers from last season, including National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-American Allison Lipovsky. The back-to-back GLIAC Pitcher of the Year turned in a memorable junior campaign after posting a 22-5 record, 0.81 ERA, and 15 total shutouts. She led the nation in strikeouts per seven innings with 11.3 per game while totaling 309 K’s to just 28 walks in her 191.0 innings of work. Also returning to the circle is sophomore Hannah Beatus after a freshman campaign saw her post an 8-2 record and a 2.77 ERA. She tallied 48 strikeouts in her 53.0 innings pitched and five complete games.
The Laker bats a led by All-GLIAC First Team utility player Kaylie Rhynard who hit .407 last season while racking up 72 hits including 11 doubles, two homers, and a triple during her redshirt junior season. Returning with Rhynard from the first team will be sophomores Nikoma Holmen (.350, 62 H, 11 2B, 9 HR, 51 RBI) and Brooke Henning (.320, 47 H, 7 2B, 2 HR, 2 3B, 21 RBI) while Bailey Thatcher (37 H, 5 2B, 3 3B, 10 RBI) enters her second year off of an all-conference honorable mention honor.
Also returning for the Lakers are starters Kelcie LaTour (.276, 40 H, 8 2B, 32 RBI), Taylor Rieger (.307, 39 H, 10 2B, 3 HR, 29 RBI), and Shannon Flaherty (.231, 37 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, 18 RBI).