Colorado Christian University's women's
softball team experienced quite a few "firsts" in their opening season, and
expectations are high as they reflect on their first year together and
anticipate the future.
The women were led by first-year head coach,
Daven Bond, who received the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the
Year award. When asked about the season, Bond, said, "The most surprising thing
is how well we have done and the things that we have been able to accomplish
on the field. The girls have certainly exceeded any expectations that I had
for our first year. I am so proud of them and how God is working in their
lives. It has been an amazing year."
The team of women gathered
together last spring for their first practices, and played their inaugural
game on February 10. The team rallied quickly, winning the season's first
game the very next day. The team won their first conference game only two
weeks later. Throughout the season, they saw continual growth and refined
their skills as a team. About halfway through the season, in a game against
Western New Mexico, they had more than three times the RBIs of their first
season's game against St. Leo.
As the underdogs in any
competition with only a few months of practice under their belts, the team
blew fans away as they competed in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference,
plowing their way through the regular season and into the championship game
of the league tournament. After a tough loss in the final game, they
anxiously awaited the following Monday morning to know if they would receive
an invitation to compete in the NCAA Division II tournament.
Bond, however, was confident in his team. "I was certain that we had
earned a spot in the regional tournament. I guess there is always a question
until the final decisions are made, but we had a great year and had a better
record than anyone in the conference. I think the RMAC run definitely helped
us get an NCAA bid to regionals." When the invitation was extended, the
women were thrilled to be packing their bags for South Dakota for one last
chance at a championship title after a killer season, and winning record.
Despite a tough 1-0 first-round loss to Winona State in the NCAA
tournament, the Lady Cougars rebounded with a 5-2 win over Colorado Mesa.
Their second loss came later that day in a semi-final rematch against Winona
State in the semi-final, taking them out of the rest of the championship
competition. The women were disappointed to see their momentous season come
to such a halting end, but all players were grateful for the opportunity to
compete so fiercely in their first season, ending with a 34-29 record.
The CCU women ended their first season with the record for most
wins in a season and the first NCAA Regional victory for any team in CCU
history. Not a bad start for a first-year program. Bond summed up the year
well, commenting, "I can't say enough about these young ladies. This has
been a coach's dream. I have enjoyed coaching more this year than any
other. The girls have made it easy to withstand the crazy schedule that the
softball season brings. None of us wanted the season to end."