OREGON (WTVG) - The NCAA has had to make numerous difficult decisions during the pandemic, and canceling the spring sports season was one of them.
However, it did grant an additional year of eligibility for those student-athletes. Deciding whether to return or not was a key decision for those seniors, including Ball State softball player Haley Dominique.
The Cardinals were 27 games into Dominique's senior season. They were 18-9 heading into a weekend series at Michigan when the season was canceled.
"We were nervous because you're halfway through, so is the NCAA really going to give back your season," Dominique, a Clay High School graduate, said.
Dominique will become a fifth-year college senior next year after earning her undergraduate degree in business administration. She'll take classes next year in pursuit of a graduate certificate.
So as Dominique improves herself in the classroom next year, how is she preparing to get better on the field?
"Mostly people are strength training and hitting off of a tee because you can't do anything," Dominique said. "If we went back to Muncie, we technically can't use the field, so it wouldn't be beneficial. But once we get the green light, we're probably going to go back."
Dominique said focusing on herself in a small setting rather than being with the team as a whole will help her mentally and small skill set.
"Work with what you have," she said. "See through to the end of the tunnel, work your hardest."
And she's doing that each week while she's home.
"It's really been individual work," Dominique said. "I haven't been able to throw or field. It's just been tee work and this pop-up machine."
The individual workouts will make her better and keep some of her skills shut, but it's no replacement for being part of a team.
"I think it's going to be difficult, but if you're strong enough you'll get through it," Dominique said.