ALLENDALE, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time in three years, Grand Valley State University’s softball team is heading back to the Division II College World Series.
Behind clutch hitting from freshman Lydia Goble and stellar pitching from senior Allison Lipovsky, the Lakers (49-8) defeated Indianapolis (49-17) with a 4-2 score for the 2019 Midwest Super Regional Championship.
It’s the fourth time in the history of the program the Lakers have reached the College World Series — also the second time in the last four seasons.
“It’s been our goal from the beginning without a question,” Goble said. “Actually getting there is pretty outstanding.”
Goble didn’t waste any time to get her bat going.
She doubled to deep center field just over the outstretched Greyhound glove. It scored sophomore Taylor Riegler and put the Lakers on the board first.
One batter later, junior Kelcie LaTour hit a sacrifice fly to give GVSU a 2-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
In the third inning, senior Shannon Flaherty hit an RBI single to extend the Lakers lead to 3-0
Lipovsky was cruising through five innings, allowing zero runs. Then in the top of the sixth frame, things got dicey.
The Harrison native surrendered a two-run home run to Indianapolis’ Gianni lannatone, trimming GVSU’s advantage to just a run.
The threatening didn’t stop. The Greyhounds would load the bases with two outs, one hit or walk away from tying or potentially taking the lead of the game.
Lipovsky rose to the occasion, getting a strikeout to end the inning. She finished with a final line of nine hits, seven strikeouts, one walk and two earned runs on 123 pitches over seven innings.
“I missed my location on a couple of pitches and that was pretty tough,” Lipovsky said. “I tried to bounce back from (the home run) and I didn’t really lose my composure. I knew what I was doing, and they were my mistakes.”
Goble would get an infield single to the Greyhounds shortstop in the top of the seventh innings, adding an insurance run for GVSU. It led 4-2 heading to the final half inning where Lipovsky got an infield pop up to end it.
“We’re not used to having crowds like this because during the regular season, we don’t have huge crowds,” said GVSU head coach Dana Callihan. “It was really great to see everyone here with the blue and the black on and it was really fun.”
The Lakers will head to Denver, Colorado for the 2019 College World Series between May 23-27. When the Lakers went to the same tournament in 2016, they also went to Denver and finished the campaign with a 43-13 overall record.