Mount Vernon Nazarene University
800 Martinsburg Rd
Mount Vernon, OH 43050
Lady Cougars Finish 2006 Softball
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - A quick glance at the final record of the
2006 Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s fastpitch softball team does not
tell the whole story of the kind of season and the caliber of players that made
up the squad that went 16-23 overall and 3-11 in the American Mideast Conference
The season began for MVNU with the annual trip to Florida for the Orlando Rebel
Games. After getting off to a 1-3 start, the Lady Cougars won five of their
final six games to finish 6-4 on the trip against some very good NCAA Division
However, upon returning north, the team dropped nine of its next 10 games as
MVNU’s record stood at 7-13. During this span, the Lady Cougars had to deal with
several injuries including one to senior right-handed pitcher Heather Clark that
kept her sidelined for much of this stretch.
MVNU did not give up, though, as the Lady Cougars continued to battle game in
and game out down the stretch despite knowing that they would not make the
playoffs. The team went 9-10 over its final 19 games to finish at 16-23 overall.
On the season, MVNU suffered seven one-run losses, five two-run losses, and two
three-run losses as the Lady Cougars were very competitive with all of their
"This season could be characterized as one of frustration and unfulfilled
expectations,” said MVNU head coach Jeana Howald. "We went into the season with
high expectations and goals, and for various reasons we were unable to
accomplish those things.”
"However, the thing that sticks out most to me and is the character and
camaraderie of the players on this team,” Howald added. "The girls never gave
up, they always stuck together, and they had a lot of fun despite the trying
circumstances that we sometimes faced. This was probably one of my most fun
teams to have ever been a part of, and I really appreciate what each girl
brought to this team.”
Seniors Stephanie Johnson, Heather Clark, Ashley Reeves, and Megan Kunkle
wrapped up their careers for the Lady Cougars after each playing all four years
on the team.
Johnson, a shortstop, led the Lady Cougars in nearly every offensive category
this season as she batted .388 with 50 hits, 19 doubles, eight triples, three
home runs, 41 RBI, 21 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. For her career,
Johnson started at shortstop in all 163 of the team’s games. She ranks first in
school history in doubles (57) and at bats (550), second in games played (163),
batting average (.400), hits (220), triples (27), runs batted in (141), and
assists (403), third in home runs (10), and fourth in runs scored (112) and
stolen bases (34).
Heather Clark, a pitcher, posted a 5-9 record on the mound with a 2.18 ERA and
two shutouts. For her career, she ranks sixth in school history in wins (43),
second in innings pitched (540 2/3), strikeouts (281), and games started (79),
third in complete games (71), and fourth in ERA (1.81).
Reeves, an outfielder, saw action in 12 games this season for the Lady Cougars
and scored two runs. In her career, she played in 75 games and scored 26 runs
primarily as a pinch runner.
Kunkle, an outfielder/infielder, played in 11 games this year and posted a .300
batting average with one double and one RBI. In her career, she played in 72
games with a .164 career batting average.
Junior outfielder Laura Kot compiled a .348 batting average with 46 hits, five
doubles, one triple, nine stolen bases, 10 RBI, and a team-high 28 runs scored.
Junior outfielders Enid Tidyman and Jennifer Meade also batted .241 and .222
respectively, while junior first baseman Melody Blimline posted a .170 batting
average to go with a .973 fielding percentage.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kristin Eyerman posted a 10-14 record on the
mound with a 2.40 ERA as she saw action in 26 of the team’s 39 games. She led
the team with 93 strikeouts and 154 1/3 innings pitched.
Sophomore second baseman Carol Montgomery led the team with 13 stolen bases to
go with a .214 batting average, 10 RBI, and 18 runs scored. Meanwhile, sophomore
outfielder Elizabeth Wilson and sophomore infielder Rachel Hamman both
contributed to the team’s success.
Freshman third baseman Karly Clay started every game for MVNU and posted a .306
batting average with 34 hits, four doubles, one triple, eight runs scored, and
14 RBI. Freshman catcher Chelsea Kellerman also had an impact in her first
season as she batted .295 with 10 runs scored and a team-high 15 sacrifice
bunts. Freshmen Laura Morris (.233), Whitney Clark (.220), and Kylie Rupert
(.204) each saw plenty of playing time with Rupert and freshman Erin Trigg also
seeing action on the mound.
With a solid group of players returning and eight new players joining the roster
next season, the Lady Cougars will look to return to their winning ways when the
2007 season rolls around.