NewsLady Cougars to Honor Three Senior Players on Monday
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s fastpitch softball team will honor its three senior players on Monday afternoon when the Lady Cougars close out the regular season with an American Mideast Conference South Division doubleheader versus Urbana University at McCougar Field at 4:00 p.m.
Sara Schwartz, Angie Smith, and Tiffany Simpson have led the Lady Cougars to a 75-54 record over the past three years (.581 winning percentage) as all three players transferred in from other schools. During their time at MVNU, the team has qualified for the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament twice and finished fifth out of 10 teams both times. Last year, the Lady Cougars made their first ever appearance in the NAIA Region IX Tournament.
Schwartz, an infielder from Frazeysburg, Ohio, has played in 55 games over the past two seasons after transferring to MVNU from Ursuline College. The former East Knox High School product has posted a .213 batting average in 24 games this year with one double, one triple, one home run, seven RBI, and nine runs scored.
"The quiet player, Sara has shown improvement and gives us 100 percent,” said MVNU head coach Jeana Howald. "She is an awesome teammate and understands what team-above-self is all about.”
Smith, a first baseman from West Liberty, Ohio, has played in 128 of the team’s 129 games since transferring to MVNU after attending the University of Toledo as a freshman. The former West Liberty-Salem High School star, who has a .286 career batting average and ranks second in school history with 750 putouts, is batting .296 with three doubles, one triple, six runs scored, and 22 RBI this year. Smith was named to the NCCAA East Region Team in 2003 and was an NCCAA East Region Honorable Mention pick in 2004.
"Angie’s infectious spirit and humor has been a highlight on this team,” said Howald. "Her desire and willingness to become a better player over the past three years is evident. She has improved her skills both offensively and defensively and has become a solid contributor on game day.”
Simpson, a second baseman from Loudonville, Ohio, has played in 126 of the Lady Cougars’ 129 games since transferring to MVNU after attending Tennessee Temple University as a freshman. The former Hillsdale High School standout, who has a .276 career batting average and ranks fourth in school history with 13 triples, is batting .278 this season with two doubles, four triples, 18 runs scored, and 10 RBI. Simpson was an NCCAA East Region Honorable Mention selection as a sophomore and an AMC First Team pick as a junior. This season, she has already been named to the NCCAA East Region Team. She has also been nominated for the NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete Teams after receiving both honors last year.
"The best words to describe Tiffany are ‘complete competitor’,” said Howald. "She has been a phenomenal second baseman the past three years. She has been a positive leader and influence for the Lady Cougars.”
"It has truly been an honor to coach Sara, Angie, and Tiffany,” said Howald. "It has been my joy and privilege to have been a part of their lives. They have been true examples in their faith, with their leadership, and as people. I will miss them and wish them God’s blessings in the years to come.”
MVNU is currently 21-15 overall and 6-6 in the AMC South Division. If the Lady Cougars sweep the Blue Knights on Monday, then the team will qualify for an AMC Tournament best-of-three series at Tiffin University this coming weekend.