NewsLady Cougars to Honor Four Senior Softball Players
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s fastpitch softball team will honor its four senior players on Wednesday afternoon when the Lady Cougars host Malone College in an American Mideast Conference South Division doubleheader at 3:00 p.m. in the team’s final home games of the year.
Shara Dyer, Brittany Stroop, Shannon Rachel, and Jackie Shively have led the Lady Cougars to a 90-72 record over the past four years (.556 winning percentage). During that span, the team has qualified for the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament twice and finished fifth out of 10 teams both times. In 2003, the Lady Cougars made their first ever appearance in the NAIA Region IX Tournament, and the team also qualified for the AMC Tournament last year.
Dyer, a catcher from Bucyrus, Ohio, has played in 138 games during her four-year career at MVNU. The former Bucyrus High School standout is batting .250 this year with 10 RBI and was recently named to the NCCAA East Region Team. She was selected to the AMC South Division Second Team in 2004, and she has also been an NCCAA East Region Honorable Mention pick twice.
Stroop, a designated player/catcher from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, has seen action in 145 career games with the Lady Cougars. The former Pottsgrove High School product is currently batting .283 in 2005 with a team-leading 26 RBI and eight doubles. She was also recently selected to the NCCAA East Region Team.
Rachel, a pitcher/third baseman from Galion, Ohio, has been one of the top pitchers in MVNU history with a 41-24 career record as she ranks in the top five in several career pitching categories. This season, the former Colonel Crawford High School star has played primarily at third base to help the team and has batted .310 with 10 RBI on the way to being named to the NCCAA East Region Team for the third time in her career. She has been an AMC South Division Second Team selection twice, and she was the NCCAA East Region Co-Player of the Year in 2003.
Shively, an outfielder from Englewood, Ohio, has played in 159 career games at MVNU - one shy of the school’s career record. She also holds the program’s career stolen base mark with 41. This season, the former Northmont High School standout is batting .427 with 25 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and 15 sacrifice hits as she was named to the NCCAA East Region Team. She was also an AMC First Team selection in 2002 as a freshman. In addition to her success on the diamond, Shively has also excelled in the classroom with a 3.9 grade point average that has helped to earn her NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete accolades.
"The success of the MVNU softball program over the past four years has been in large part due to the contributions made both on and off the field by these four seniors,” said MVNU head coach Jeana Howald. "It has been not only an honor but a privilege to coach Shara, Brittany, Shannon, and Jackie the past four years. They have been an integral part of making Lady Cougar softball successful.”
"Each of the four seniors is unique in their own ways,” Howald added. "They have been solid students, followed the ‘team first’ motto, and have grown and developed their relationship with Jesus Christ these past four years. I wish them the very best and each one will always hold a special place in my heart.”
MVNU is currently 13-16 overall and 3-7 in the AMC South Division. The Lady Cougars also have remaining doubleheaders on the road at Saint Vincent (Pa.) College and Urbana University to close out the regular season.