Fri, May. 13, 2011 - [Softball]
The Rochester College womens softball team completed their 2011 season atop the USCAA by becoming the National Champions. The Warriors defeated St. Mary's of the Woods in game three of a three game series by a final score of 8-6.
The Warriors finished the 2011 season with a 16-24 overall record and defeated Penn College 9-1, Penn State Beaver 11-5, and Spalding College 11-5 before winning the USCAA National Championship series.
The 2011 Warriors entered the season with many new names on the roster and a new head coach in Steve Ogg
. "This season was one of transition for me and the program as we looked to expand," said Coach Ogg. "We went through all the stages of change throughout the season. Everyone accepted their role and they did the best they could."
Coach Ogg's Warriors had several big wins throughout the season including a 7-6, 11 inning battle against Siena Heights University and a 4-3 victory over Spring Arbor University. The Warriors were led by freshman right fielder Tessa Tomlin
(Lake Orion, MI/Lake Orion) who led the USCAA with her .507 batting average and had what proved to be the biggest hit of the Nationals when she doubled in three runs. "We were one pitch away from being knocked out of the tournament and Tessa stepped up and hit a run scoring double," said coach Ogg. Tomlin earned All-American honors for her efforts in her freshman season.
Defensively the Warriors relied on the arm of freshman Katy Peacock
. Peacock was among the best in the USCAA with her 4.14 ERA. While on the mound, Peacock struck out 60 hitters in her 78 innings pitched.
Peacock's catcher, Briana Serrato
(Banning, CA/Banning), was the driving force behind the Warriors' historic season and National Championship run. Serrato was sighted by many coaches as having the best arm of any catcher they competed against all season. Not only did Serrato earn All American honors, but she also earned the Most Valuable Player award at the USCAA National Championship. "Our super player this season was our catcher Briana. She was our catalyst," coach Ogg commented about Serrato.
Also earning All American honors for the Warriors, with a .327 batting average and a .860 fielding average was senior Katie Ogg
(Waterford, MI/Oakland C.C.). "One of the major highlights of this season was coaching my daughter, Katie. It brought my family back to the game," coach Ogg said.
After a season of being ranked number one the entire year, coach Ogg could not have been happier when his team received their bid to the tournament. "It gave credibility to what we have been talking about all year as a team in transition," said Ogg.
The secret to Ogg's success was preparing his team for situations that could have cost them. "We stressed the small things like bunt defense and controlling runners on base, and it payed off for us."
After winning the first ever softball championship for Rochester College, coach Ogg expressed that it was like winning a Stanley Cup or a World Series. "I get goose bumps just talking about it," said Ogg as he explained how much he enjoyed watching his girls run out the field after the final out of the contest. "I was able to just sit back and take it all in. Seeing the girls so happy and seeing the proud looks on their parent's faces was very rewarding."
The Warriors' softball team will look to return to the USCAA Nationals when they return to action in late August.