A coach’s dream season doesn’t come along too often. Maybe two or three times in their career.
Well, this season may be just that for Norse Head Softball Coach Kathy Bown. The Lady Norse have been scorching hot lately.
They entered this week with a 41-3 record. That’s good for a number one ranking in the Great Lakes Region, and a number eight ranking in the nation.
The peculiar thing about this team is that it is without a single senior on the entire roster.
That means, barring any unforseen doings in the offseason, this entire group of players will return to play together again next season. That can be intimidating for any opposing team.
The juniors on this squad have posted a record of 113-33 in their time at the school. That’s beyond impressive.
“The junior class kind of started us going in the right direction,” said Bown. “This is definitely the best team I’ve ever coached.”
This NKU roster is highlighted with five juniors, six sophomores and five freshman. The junior class is definitely the foundation for this program: A program that could be seen as one of the best in the entire nation if they keep up the success they’ve been having recently.
Juniors Stephanie Leimbach and Angie Lindeman anchor the lineup for the Norse, while pitcher Emily Breitholle has provided more than solid pitching duties in her third year in the program.
Leimbach is hitting .414 with 26 RBI, while Lindeman is hitting at a .316 clip with four home runs and 40 RBI.
Breitholle, who has been moved back to the number two starter due to the emergence of sophomore Krystal Lewallen, has posted a 12-1 record with a 1.02 ERA.
While success was in the plans for Bown and the Norse, no one was predicting such a season to take place.
“We knew that we were going to be very good,” said Bown, “but as for only having three losses at this point in the season, I think that is kind of a surprise.”
However, even with such an impressive record, Bown knows that her team won’t be satisfied untill all of its goals are met.
“We will be satisfied when we get to Orlando,” (site of the NCAA championships) said Bown. “While we set a goal of advancing further into the tournament then ever, our real goal from the start of the season was to get to the championships.”
The Norse got a sneak peak earlier in the year at some of the competition that they may see if they advance deep into the NCAA tournament.
The Lady Norse defeated number two ranked Shippensburg (PA.) by a score of 1-0. In fact, since that game in March, Shippensburg pitcher Kelly Tiesi has yet to surrender a run.
Bown, in her sixth year of coaching at NKU, will play out the rest of this season hoping to make it that one-of-a-kind dream season.
However with this collection of talent it could be very much more than that.