Camryn Lyman Leads LIU Sharks Back To NCAA Tournament
As the Long Island University Sharks prepare for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2016 after winning the Northeast Conference Tournament, the focus is on star redshirt senior Camryn Lyman.
Lyman, who has been impressive for the Sharks since her college softball career began at LIU in 2019, was the NEC Tournament MVP last week after hitting .545 with five runs scored. She helped the Sharks secure a spot in the Tuscaloosa Regional at the University of Alabama this weekend.
The California native, who started playing softball when she was 10 years old, has been an All-Conference selection every season she has played with the Sharks. She is set to graduate this summer with a psychology degree all the way across the country from where she grew up in Chino Hills.
But for Lyman, college wasn't always on her radar.
“I wouldn't have gone to college if it wasn't for softball,” Lyman told Softball America.
After excelling with both her Chino Hills squad and Explosion travel team, Lyman was offered a spot on the LIU softball team by head coach Roy Kortmann during her sophomore year of high school. Back then, Lyman knew very little about LIU and Brooklyn, N.Y., where the school is located, but she fell in love with everything LIU had to offer, especially the coaching staff.
Even though going across the country for college was not what Lyman originally had in mind, she still took the chance and bet on herself. And the Sharks are sure glad she did. Lyman is a career .342 hitter who has held down the leadoff spot in LIU's lineup and been a consistent leader in its outfield.
Being one of six seniors on the team this year helped Lyman take on a significant leadership role that was greater than in seasons past. One of the ways she led her team this year was by holding her teammates to a higher standard. It's a philosophy LIU practices so that everyone within the program is able to maximize their potential and play as well as they can.
And Lyman has definitely maximized her own potential during her career at LIU. Consistently performing well every season is not an easy feat, yet she has been able to do so during her five-year stay in Brooklyn. She told Softball America that having the support of her teammates and coaches was an important part in helping her feel comfortable so far away from home.
Being comfortable is not only something that has helped her off the field at LIU, but also as the leadoff hitter for the Sharks. She says by being as calm as possible at the start of each game, she is better able to have success for her team. Lyman knows how important being the leadoff hitter is, as she sets the tone for her teammates to follow.
For Lyman, a former NEC Rookie of the Year, individual honors have never been her driving force. It's been her desire to win the NEC title, which her team did this year for the first time in her career.
And while the Sharks (32-24) will be big-time underdogs when they step on the field against fifth-seeded Alabama on Friday, Lyman's steady presence will certainly be a saving grace for them.