LINCOLN -- Lincoln looked ready to set the softball world afire by exploding for 10 runs in the first inning during a 15-0 nonconference season-opening victory over Providence Academy March 5.
Unfortunately three games in, all wins for the Lady Wolves, the 2020 softball season was first suspended along with all spring sports, then canceled April 6 due to the covid-19 crisis.
LINCOLN 2020 SOFTBALL ROSTER
6^Alyssa Bryant^C, INF^Jr.
Head Coach Beau Collins
COACH BEAU COLLINS AT LINCOLN
2016^20-8^4-2^State 4A Quarterfinals
2017^15-16^4-7^State 4A Quarterfinals
2018^16-10^7-3^4A North Regional
2019^8-11^5-5^District 3A-1 Tourney
Coach Beau Collins posted a bittersweet goodbye to the season using an April 9 Facebook post to communicate his feelings at the season's demise during a dead period imposed by the Arkansas Activities Association which prohibits coaches from having any type of face-to-face contact with their teams.
"Our season ended much too soon and too fast. I could have never imagined that afternoon in Waldron would be our last," Collins wrote, referring to an important 3-1 March 10 conference win on the road.
Lincoln took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and held that all way until the top of the seventh when the Lady Wolves produced clutch hits driving in 2 runs to offset a single run by Waldron in the bottom half of the game's last inning.
Junior Tiana Anderson, who was 2-for-3, doubled and drove in a run. Ditto for senior Morgan Coker-Gage (1-for-4, double, RBI). Junior Paisley Curtis also drove in a run.
The Lady Wolves pounded out 9 hits total. Freshman Ryleigh Landrum went 3-for-4 and scored a run while senior Kinley Webb (1-for-3) and junior Alyssa Bryant (1-for-2) added hits.
Junior Paige Umberson went the distance scattering 12 hits over 7 innings, but Waldron only managed to score one run.
The Lady Wolves needed only 3 innings to earn a run-rule 15-0 over Providence Academy. Junior Chloe Dawson tripled and drove in 2 runs while Curtis went 3-for-3 with a triple and 2 RBIs. Lincoln smashed 16 hits and stole 13 bases. Umberson struck out 6 in 3 scoreless innings of work.
Lincoln ripped Ozark for 11 hits and 8 RBIs during a nonconference 8-5 win on Friday, March 6. Umberson more than helped her cause by going 2-of-3 and belting both a double and a triple. Freshman Saylor Stidham (1-for-3), and Landrum (1-for-3) drove in 2 runs apiece while combining for 3 of Lincoln's 5 doubles. Umberson earned the win, allowing 4 runs on 3 hits while issuing 1 walk and striking out 5 over 3 innings.
With the season suspended Collins produced a video in conjunction with former Lincoln baseball coach Hunter Corbell, who has since taken the head baseball job while also coaching golf at Elkins.
The video was posted online March 20 as inspiration for those who might have a hard time finding space to do drills or experiencing social isolation at their house,
Collins created a peg board with baseballs attached in nine different spots representing where the strike zone would be simulating pitches coming across the top part of the strike zone, then the middle part and the lower part.
"This is an awesome drill to help with visualization and bat path upon making contact with varying pitches," Collins explained while encouraging his players.
"Make the best of this situation and find a way to get better! Very special thanks to Coach Hunter Corbell for helping with this video! Softball or Baseball, we are in this thing together to help bring some normalcy to you! Go Wolves!"
With the season officially canceled April 6 by the AAA on the heels of an announcement by Gov. Asa Hutchinson that schools would remain closed to on-site instruction for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year, Collins again reached out on May 9 to his three seniors: Morgan Coker-Gage, Shea Woolsey, and Kinley Webb.
Collins expressed thankfulness for an opportunity to coach the seniors and said he will always cherish the memories they made.
"I know you will accomplish great things in your futures if you will pursue your dreams with passion," Collins stated. "I am sorry your season ended this way. You deserved better. I will always be here if you need me. I am proud of each of you and look forward to seeing you succeed in life. I love you all! - Coach Collins."
Collins guided the Lady Wolves to Class 4A State tournament appearances in 2016 at Mena, and 2017 at Lonoke, and a 4A North Regional appearance while serving as tournament host in 2018.
The Lady Wolves dropped to Class 3A for 2019, but couldn't advance beyond the district tournament. In four seasons Collins' record stands at 62-45 overall and 21-17 in conference play.
Collins admonished the Lady Wolves to treat each day in softball and life going forward as an opportunity to improve or to play as if it is one's last game. Don't waste a day, he said while declaring the softball program will keep working towards its goals and he can't wait to see all of his players in person again.
"I never thought that we wouldn't have another day," Collins said. "Remember this lesson life has given us. Never assume that you will have another day to work towards your goals or to tell people that you love/appreciate them."Sports on 05/27/2020
Print Headline: Learn From Lost Season Collins Says