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Jazmyn Rollin Sees Shortened 2020 As 'Blessing In Disguise'

(Photo by Zach Bland/Mizzou Athletics)

When the 2020 college softball season was canceled back in March due to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, members of the Missouri softball team were understandably upset and left wondering what might have been.

Though the Tigers were banned from the 2020 SEC and NCAA Tournaments because of findings related to past academic misconduct, they were off to their best start in recent history with a 19-7 record and the No. 17 ranking in SA's 2020 Division I Top 25.

But for Jazmyn Rollin, a sophomore who led the team with seven home runs and posted a .364/.495/.727 stat line in 2020, she saw the shortened season as a positive.

“Personally, getting my year back and not serving the postseason ban, while also getting another chance to compete with my teammates again feels like a blessing in disguise,” Rollin, who will have an extra year of college softball due to the NCAA's decision to grant eligibility relief to all spring athletes impacted by COVID-19 cancellations, told Softball America.

Though it is currently unclear whether or not the NCAA will extend Mizzou's postseason ban into next season, Rollin and the Tigers are hopeful for what is ahead of them, especially considering the success they experienced in 2020.

“It was something that was amazing to be a part of,” added Rollin, who started all 26 games for Mizzou in 2020, including 17 starts at shortstop.

In 2020, the Tigers posted four wins over teams that finished the abbreviated campaign in SA's Top 25 and also went 3-0 in the SEC before play was halted.

Rollin, who was an SEC-All Freshman Team selection in 2019, credits the success she experienced in 2020 to Mizzou head coach Larissa Anderson, who took over Missouri's softball program following the 2018 season.

“It feels like Coach Anderson and I were meant to be together,” Rollin said. “She has saved me in so many different ways that I can’t even explain.”

Under Mizzou's new leadership, Rollin and her teammates have flourished, as they finished their 2019 season with an NCAA Tournament appearance and a 35-25 record, which marked the most wins for the Tigers in a single season since 2016.

“With having new coaches and players coming in last year, we worked hard on becoming a true family,” Rollin stated. “We talked about ourselves a lot and I think that was a big part of our success with team chemistry.”

Heading into 2021, Rollin and the Tigers have unfinished business on their minds, regardless of what the NCAA decides.

“I look forward to being a part of my team’s legacy in the future,” Rollin said. “Hunger only drives you to work harder.”

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