ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Valley State University’s softball team will be playing Ohio Dominican in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.

The Lakers have made the NCAA tournament for the last 11 seasons and finished the last two years in the World Series. Neither season ended with a championship for GVSU and they suffered a blowout loss to Augustana last year.

That’s only motivated them to get back to the big stage this year as they look to make their third-straight trip to the World Series and bring home the program’s first championship.

“Losing in the World Series last year was definitely hard,” GVSU infielder Megan Koenigshof said. “Coming into this season we had really high goals and we’ve been working really, really hard. So to get to this point is really exciting but we’re not done yet for sure.”

They have a good chance to get to the World Series again, returning with several key veterans including shortstop Lydia Goble. The All-American honorable mention is a finalist for the national player of the year.

“I think the past two years we’ve been in the World Series, obviously we haven’t finished where we wanted to, so I think that that just gives us enough motivation as it is,” Goble said. “I would say this year’s team has been probably the best the team I’ve been on where we all have one goal and we’re all really focused on it.”

GVSU head coach Dana Callihan said for now, they’re focused on the regional level.

“We can’t look forward to the World Series until we can take care of business at the regional level,” Callihan said.

GVSU will head for Indianapolis Wednesday morning. They’ll play the Panthers at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Lakers are the No. 3 seed in their region.