The Mount Vernon Nazarene College women's fastpitch softball team closed out the 2000 season by winning four of its final five games as the Lady Cougars finished the year with a 17-19 overall record and an 11-13 American Mideast Conference mark.
MVNC began the year with the team's annual trip to Orlando, Florida over spring break. While down south, the Lady Cougars posted a 5-5 record as the team played against NCAA Division III and NAIA teams.
Upon returning to Ohio, MVNC split its lone non-conference doubleheader of the season at Kenyon College. Then, the Lady Cougars began their 24-game AMC schedule by splitting four straight doubleheaders against Urbana University, Cedarville, College, Malone College, and the University of Rio Grande.
After dropping a pair of games in freezing temperatures at Tiffin University, MVNC rebounded to sweep a doubleheader from Saint Vincent (PA) College. The Lady Cougars then lost six of their next seven games to Shawnee State University, Ohio Dominican College, Walsh University, and Seton Hill (PA) College. Shawnee State, Walsh, and Ohio Dominican were three of the five AMC teams to qualify for the NAIA Region IX Tournament.
MVNC blanked Seton Hill 7-0 in the second game of a doubleheader to began a stretch of four straight wins as the Lady Cougars also swept a twinbill from Notre Dame College and eliminated Point Park (PA) College from a postseason berth with a 3-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
Individually, several players had outstanding seasons as they contributed to the team's success. Sophomore designated hitter/pitcher Amanda Schumm led MVNC in nearly every offensive category with a .414 batting average, 48 hits, eight doubles, two triples, a school-record seven home runs, 24 runs scored, and 31 runs batted in. Schumm, who was named to the AMC First Team, the National Christian College Athletic Association East Region Team, and the NCCAA All-American First Team, tied the Lady Cougars' single-game home run record with two against Ramapo (NJ) College. She also became the program's career home run leader with 12 after just two seasons.
Tara Hines, a junior pitcher, posted an 11-8 record with a 1.59 earned run average as she was named to the AMC Second Team and the NCCAA East Region Team. In 136 2/3 innings of work, Hines struck out 69 batters and issued just 16 walks. She also tossed 16 complete games and three shutouts as the workhorse of the MVNC pitching rotation.
Junior Natalie Wallace, an outfielder, batted .348 with 40 hits, 10 doubles, a team-high three triples, one home run, 22 runs scored, and 22 RBI. Wallace was named to the NCCAA East Region Team, and she was also an Honorable Mention All-AMC selection.
Shelly Aldrich, a junior second baseman, was also an Honorable Mention All-AMC pick as she batted .336 with 39 hits, a team-high 13 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 15 RBI, and 24 runs scored. Aldrich also led the team with seven sacrifice bunts.
Freshman Pam Poff, a catcher, batted .313 with 30 hits, 11 doubles, 14 runs scored, and 17 RBI in her first collegiate season. Poff, who threw out 24 of the 40 baserunners who tried to steal on her, was selected to the NCCAA East Region Team, the AMC All-Freshmen Team, and an Honorable Mention All-AMC choice.
Junior catcher Angie Svagerko posted a .289 batting average in 21 games, while freshman third baseman Jenni Davis hit .278 in 24 games. Shelly Claxon, a junior shortstop, batted .266 and scored a team-high 25 runs, and sophomore first baseman Stephanie Keller hit .250.
Third baseman Jody Bartter, the team's lone senior, batted .242 in 36 games, while junior outfielder Amy Leach hit .243 in 32 games. Lisa Horsley, a junior first baseman, led the team with 177 putouts in 25 games, and freshman Debbie Dobson and sophomore Drew Paulo played in 28 and 15 games respectively in the outfield.
With only one senior on the roster, the future for the Lady Cougar softball program looks bright with seven starting position players and all three pitchers returning.