With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causing Eastern Kentucky University athletics and athletics worldwide to stop, senior softball pitcher Mollie Paulick was overcome with many emotions.
When the EKU softball team received the news that their season would be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic they were in Jacksonville, Alabama.
“A lot of the girls were surprised,” Paulick said. “We actually found out when we were practicing at Jacksonville State. That’s when it sank in that this was going to be our last practice together.”
Paulick said the team was sad to see their season canceled, especially since they were on an 18 game winning streak, the longest in NCAA Division I softball.
The Colonels were in first place in the Ohio Valley Conference and had a 22-2 record at the time of the cancellation.
Paulick credits her teammates and their strong performance on defense for their winning streak.
“Everyone did their job and our defense stepped up,” Paulick said. “At the beginning, we struggled with our defense and after the second game they stepped up and took on their roles.”
Paulick was named the OVC Pitcher of the Week twice this season.
“I think another big thing for us was pitching as well as our hitting. Everybody was on the same page. Anybody could be called on at any moment and they did their job,” Paulick said.
Paulick is hoping to come back for another year, but many unknowns are surrounding the situation. The NCAA will vote on March 30 whether winter and spring sports will receive an extra year of eligibility according to Stadium Sports.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen, but we were lucky enough to get the information about the extra eligibility year. Which kind of made it less sad in a way but we still don’t know what is going on with that and we don’t know who is all coming back."
Paulick hopes to see most of her senior class return for another season so they can continue what they started this year.
"I'm grateful that we got to play that many games and grateful that we got that time to practice together as a team," Paulick said.