By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
NEOSHO, Mo. —
Crowder College, 38-18 overall, finished runner-up this softball season to Jefferson College of Hillsboro (Mo.) in the NJCAA Region XVI playoffs.
“It’s always disappointing when you don’t win Region XVI,” Lady ’Rider coach Lori Videmschek said Thursday. “But I’m satisfied. Our players represented our school with class.
“We lost a lot of one-run games. We had some growing pains. We had some key injuries. Those injuries probably made the No. 1 difference.”
Then, of course, there was the weather.
“The weather, very cold at times, made several of our games simply miserable,” she said. “The weather made it tough to play outside. It was difficult to get into a groove at the plate ... or in any part of the game.”
Pitcher Allison Tonyan, because of the flu, was unable to pitch in the playoffs after stopping Three Rivers 8-0 in five innings in the Crowder opener. Crowder wound up losing two 6-5 decisions to Jefferson (which lost to Iowa Western in district play).
Crowder placed three players on the first all-region team — sophomore outfielder Jessica Neely (Nevada), sophomore infielder Carson Forge (Hallsville, Mo.) and freshman pitcher Madison Barnes (Farmington, Ark.).
Crowder players on the second team are veteran outfielder Shelby Stuck (Webb City), veteran infielders Megan Coleman (Webb City) and Brooke Hulsey (Neosho) and freshman hurler Tonyan (Columbia Hickman).
Neely signed early with Central Missouri, Videmschek said, with Stuck later signing with fellow MIAA member Pittsburg State.
Hulsey and Amber Taylor, sophomore from Carthage, plan to attend Missouri Southern for academics.
Coleman, Forge and sophomore outfielder Kala Crisp (Farmington, Ark.) basically still are looking around. Videmschek said.
Leadoff hitter Neely, who averaged ..371 with 66 runs scored and 13 home runs, set two Crowder season records — homers (ousting Neosho product Jessica Marble’s dozen) and hit by pitches with 26.
Forge averaged .391 with 12 homers and 53 RBI. Hulsey averaged .366 with nine homers and 62 RBI. Other veteran averages included ..360 for Stuck, .359 for Taylor, .324 for Coleman and .320 for Crisp. Madison Barnes, another freshman, and Tonyan logged respective pitching records of 16-7 and 13-7.
Videmschek boosted her record to 204-102 for five years as head coach.