Unprecedented times around the globe brought an unprecedented season to the Missouri Western spring sports teams. Many saw their season cut short as they were on their way to playing successful seasons.
Griffon softball saw the remainder of its season canceled after just 22 games. The Griffons had won 10 of its last 12 games, including two rivalry wins at Northwest Missouri in MIAA play before the season was called off with a 13-9 record. Sophomore Sydni Hawkins became one of the final MIAA Hitters of the Week, racking up 14 hits over the final seven games of the season with nine RBIs, including five in what proved to be the season finale. Hawkins ended the year batting .425 with a team-high 31 hits, three home runs and 20 RBIs.
Griffon baseball finished the shortened season 8-15 with a 3-3 record in the MIAA. The team had just swept a three-game series against new MIAA foe Rogers State when the decision was made to cancel the remainder of the season due to COVID-19. It looked like a season that might be destined for great things. Senior pitcher Roy Robles broke a Missouri Western record with 17 strikeouts the first game of the season at Oklahoma Baptist. The Griffons won four of their final five games of the shortened season.
The men’s golf team was looking good before its season ended after just one spring tournament. The Griffons had recorded two fifth-place team finishes. Overall, the team had three top-seven finishes with a low-tournament total of 602 in Las Vegas and a low-round of 280 in the first round of the Kentucky Wesleyan Fall Invite.
With 2019 Missouri Western Male Student-Athlete of the Year Patrick McCarthy sitting out with an injury, senior Luke Horseman picked up the lead for the squad. Horseman competed in all six events, averaging a 73.86. He had a low-round of 69 in the first round of the Winona State Invitational where he finished a season-best fourth place. Horseman was par or better three times. Matt Thoms had a 74.33 average through five events and sophomore Jett Simmons had a 74.65 average through six tournaments. Six different Griffons saw time on the course. None had an average above 77 and five were 75 or better. Thoms, Simmons, Tom Buffington and Preston Ewing were par or better two times each.
First-year head coach Olaya Garrido-Rivas changed the culture and had her Griffon tennis squad winning before the season abruptly came to an end.
Missouri Western was 6-5 on the year, yet to face an MIAA opponent in conference play when the season ended. The team had just won three of its last four matches when the remainder of the season was cancelled after a 6-0 win at Illinois Springfield and just days away from a home match against Southwest Minnesota State.
Senior Karoline Ström reached as high as No. 12 in the ITA Central Region singles rankings. The senior won her first four matches at No. 1 singles and went 6-5 overall. The new head coach brought in new faces as well. With returning senior Federica Salmaso missing much of the spring, the lineup usually featured four newcomers at the singles positions. Isabella MacGibbon went 7-3 in her freshman campaign, playing both at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, and won her final four singles matches.
The young Women’s Golf squad was off to a promising start before the season was cut short. The Griffons posted top-eight finishes in each of its last four events of the year after 11th and 12th place finishes in the first two events of the season. A season-best 612 total netted the squad a fourth-place finish at the Midwest Classic in early October, the best finish for the team all year.
Freshman Allycia Gan paced the team, averaging a 76 per round with a team-low 70 in the first round of the MIAA Fall Preview. Gan finished third at that event and the Midwest Classic and was named All-Region by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. Tammy Lim was just two-and-a-half strokes behind Gan’s average with a 78.5 in her first season as a Griffon. Anna Bech averaged a 79.21 in her sophomore campaign and turned in a sixth-place finish at the Arkansas Tech Women’s Fall Invite and a seventh-place finish at the Midwest Classic.