By Max De Leeuw
The Grand Rapids Community College softball team is almost ready to storm the field and looking for a successful year.
The team is building off last year’s 35-18 season with a good mix of players including six returning players and 12 new freshmen additions.
Veteran Head Coach Paula Maloley has confidence in all of the players.
“I expect all my sophomores to step it up,” said Maloley, adding that the freshman “will contribute immensely.”
Last season’s softball team took second place in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association conference’s West Division. Despite that accomplishment, Maloley thinks they could have done even better.
“For the most part, we achieved expectations but fell short at the end,” Maloley said.
With last year in mind, the team has high hopes for the upcoming season. Maloley has a few goals for the team, including leading the conference, and ultimately, winning the championship.
“We gotta get our swings in every day,” said Maloley, who runs daily practices in the Ford Fieldhouse until the weather warms up.
The athletes wear different colors depending on the day, but their matching practice attire shows that they are a team, even indoors in the throes of winter.
Besides aiming for victory, the coach also emphasizes academic success. Last year’s athletes obtained an average GPA of 3.2. That remarkable accomplishment is something they would like to duplicate this time around.
The team’s season opener is scheduled for Feb. 28 in Clermont, Fla.