Haley Campbell steals one of her many bases for Centenary.
Haley Campbell wore the Centenary uniform for four years.
Best season cut short
Haley Campbell, an Erath High graduate, never saw it coming. She described it like a break up she never expected. It was a gut punch that hurt.
Campbell, 22, in her senior year was enjoying life and playing softball at Centenary College in Shreveport.
She was the starting center fielder and leadoff batter for Centenary. She was having a fantastic year at the plate, sporting a .359 batting average. She stole five bases and scored 11 runs in 12 games.
On March 8-9, Centenary opened conference play against Dallas in a three-game series. On Sunday, Campbell probably had her best game of her college career. She went 3-for-4 at the plate, including a triple. She had hit only one triple at Centenary in three years prior to March 9.
Centenary, under head coach Mark Suire, was sporting a 6-6 overall record, and Campbell was sitting on cloud nine.
Then came the news she and her senior teammates never saw coming. Suire called a special meeting with his seniors and told them their season was over because the NCAA canceled spring sports due to the coronavirus.
“I was devastated,” said Campbell. “It was like a breakup I never saw coming.”
After telling the seniors, Suire brought the rest of the team together and broke them the bad news. Campbell said there were plenty of tears flowing and hugs happening.
The NCAA granted all seniors another year if they wanted to return. She is not. Campbell will graduate this spring in biology. She applied for dental hygiene school in Arkansas and at LSU.
In the meantime, she is taking Centenary on-line classes from her parents’ home in Erath. The thought of not playing fastpitch softball has not sunk in just yet, she said. She has watched videos of her past games.
“It has not hit me yet that there is no more softball,” she said. “It probably will once I graduate.”
In four seasons, she has played a total of 120 games. She finished with 326 at bats and 94 hits. She hit 15 doubles and two triples. Campbell has knocked in 48 total runs and walked 20 times.
In four years, she finished with a .288 overall batting average.