By Bailey Pennycuff / Co-Sports Editor

As the spread of the coronavirus continues, collegiate student-athletes who had had their seasons ripped away are being forced to make decisions they never thought they would have to make.

Sophomore softball player for Hutchinson Community College, Alexis Way, is one of these athletes faced with a decision after she found out her season was over. 

Prior to the virus, Way had planned to transfer to a four-university after HutchCC and continue to play softball. She was waiting to decide on her future school. 

But with the extra year of eligibility granted by the NJCAA to all spring sports athletes, some athletes are left looking toward their future with question marks. Do they stay or transfer? 

Way, however, has her plan set. 

“I am going to take advantage of having a chance to play a third year at Hutch,” Way said. “But because of my degree (elementary education), I only need four years. I don’t know if I will play more than four years of softball.”

COVID-19 wasn’t the only thing plaguing her 2020 season. 

Way suffered a wrist injury and missed several games early in the season. Her season neither started well nor ended as planned. However, once she made her sophomore season debut, she knew she was a part of a team that could be amazing. 

“Our season started off strong. I thought we had a shot of going to nationals this year – a goal we have worked on for over two years,” Way said. 

Way’s expectations for her sophomore season were high. Being a team captain, she knew her responsibilities were vital. 

“I improved from my freshman year and expected to have a better season and be a strong team leader,” Way said. 

A wave of heavy-heartedness struck the whole team after news of the canceled season broke. Way felt the crushing defeat from the pandemic. 

“It was heartbreaking when we found out that our season was over. I knew it would be my last time playing with several of my teammates,” Way said. “Everything our team worked so hard for was taken out of our hands.”

Way is also taking advantage of this time in quarantine to recover from her wrist injury. She had surgery on April 9, and the procedure went even better than expected. 

“During quarantine, I haven’t been able to do a lot, but I was able to move up my surgery, so I will be healthy and ready to practice again in the fall,” Way said. 

During the spring, it’s uncommon for a college softball player to get to spend a lot of time with their family; however, these times are much different. 

“It’s been nice being able to spend time with my family since we all get so busy during softball season and do not get to spend much time together. We are starting to have too much family time though,” Way said. 

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