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The Northerner

Softball coach strives for new career milestone

Troy Bendgen, Contributing Writer

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Softball coach Kathy Stewart is on the verge of a career milestone, her 500th win. Her current all-time record is 484-303 as she starts off her 16th year at NKU.

This season coach Stewart comes to the plate with a squad full of veteran players who are looking to finish out their softball careers strong.

“Getting my 500th win with this group of seniors would be special,” Stewart said. “I feel they have done so much for the program since they arrived here.”

The team’s move to Division I saw the team only won 11 games last season. This year the squad has higher expectations.

“We only won 11 games last year, and only five conference games, so we want to be at least .500 both overall and in the conference,” Stewart said.

The softball teams goal is to win every game of course, but as long as the players give it everything they have Stewart will be pleased.

“We expect to win. However, this doesn’t always happen, so we expect each player to do everything for us to win and to leave it all on the field,” Stewart commented.

According to her, Stewart’s coaching staff has also played a huge role in her wins with assistant coaches Chipp Gregg and Michelle Caouette.

Gregg is now entering his 13th year with coach Stewart and Caouette, who is in her second season with the organization, said he feels a sense of accomplishment.

“It’s unheard of in most coaching staffs to be a part of that win,” Caouette said. “It shows a lot about our coaching staff and how we pull and work together and do the best for the girls.

To help Stewart get her 500th win would be an accomplishment to Coauette as well.

“It’s kind of a notch on our belt too to help her achieve that. I guess I am more proud than anything,” Caouette said.

For Stewart and her seven seniors it’s very important to accomplish this landmark together more than anything.

“They have been a solid group who have had high expectations for themselves and for their teammates,” Stewart explained. “They have really stepped up as leaders this year.”

Senior outfielder Dana Jarboe said it is important for her and the rest of the seniors to help Stewart get that 500th win.

“It would really mean a lot,” she said.

The team only needs 16 more victories to eclipse the landmark win.

“I want this season to go well for them, because they deserve that,” Stewart said.

KEY PLAYERS

Kathryn Stewart, softball head coach, reflects on who her three key players have been for the nine games the team has played in so far. The team’s record is currently 1-8 and currently in last place in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The team’s next game is on March 1 at 11:30 a.m. against Northern Illinois in Evansville, Ind.

Katelyn Roy #5

Year: Junior

Position: Infielder

Height: 5’9”

Hometown: Dry Ridge, Ky.

According to Stewart, Roy has really stepped up for this year, especially offensively. Roy is currently batting .350 for her team.

Mandi McQueen #22

Year: Senior

Position: Outfielder

Hometown: Lawrenceburg, Ind.

“Mandi is our next strong hitter in terms of batting average,” Stewart said.

Paige McQueen #4

Year: Freshman

Position: Pitcher

Height: 5’5”

Hometown: Lawrenceburg, Ind.

“Paige McQueen, got our only win of the year. We definitely need the pitchers to step up.”

Information compiled by Brook Clifford-Sports Editor

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Softball coach strives for new career milestone