The IU Southeast baseball and softball teams were both off to sensational starts to their seasons.

Unfortunately, now both of their seasons are officially over.

Monday the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that it was canceling the spring sports season effective immediately due to the coronavirus.

“All possible scenarios that would have supported a spring sports season were seriously considered by multiple NAIA governance groups,” NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr said in a press release. “However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation yesterday to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks, meant we could not in good conscience move forward with the spring sports season and championships.”

Last Thursday the River States Conference, of which IUS is a member, announced that it was suspending all athletic-related activities until March 31. Monday, though, the NAIA dropped the hammer, ending the seasons of the Grenadiers’ baseball and softball teams, as well as their men’s and women’s tennis teams.

“My heart hurts for our @IUSAthletics spring sport student-athletes, especially the seniors. I know we will do everything we can to make sure they get the senior exp. they deserve when this passes. Health & safety first! #Grenadiers4Life,” IUS athletic director Joe Glover tweeted Monday.

The IU Southeast baseball team was off to an epic start. The Grenadiers won their first 12 games of the season and were the last unbeaten team in NAIA. IUS, which rose to No. 12 in the national coaches’ poll last week, will end its season with an 18-1 record.

“I think we all, as coaches, try and depict the ‘real life’ aspect thru sports. 2020 lived up to those depictions in unprecedented fashion. Although part of me is saddened by the abrupt end to our campaign the other part of me is excited to see the future response by so many,” IU Southeast coach Ben Reel tweeted Monday evening.

The school’s softball squad was off to an equally impressive start. The Grenadiers won their first seven games and will end their season on a 12-game winning streak and with a 19-2-1 record.

The NAIA, however, did announce that “no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition.”

“Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent,” the organization said.

Also Monday, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced it was canceling all its spring sports seasons as well.

Several former high school athletes from this area compete at the NAIA and NJCAA levels.

Additionally, the Little League International Board of Directors announced Monday that it is now “strongly advising all its local Little League programs to suspend/delay their Little League seasons through no earlier than Monday, May 11.”

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