Blinn softball coach wins 600th career game
Fourth-ranked Bucs win three in one day as Church reaches milestone
TEMPLE, Texas – Blinn College softball coach Rick Church claimed the 600th victory of his college coaching career Friday after his fourth-ranked Buccaneers won all three of their games at the Temple Round Robin.
Blinn defeated Iowa Western 5-4, Howard 11-6 and Butler 10-7.
Church, now in his 13th season at Blinn College, entered the year with a 590-242 record, and claimed his 600th victory in the Buccaneers’ final contest of the day to improve to 600-246 for his coaching career. Church, who is also Blinn’s all-time winningest coach, holds a 526-212 mark in Buccaneer blue and has led Blinn to the NJCAA National Championships five times, including a fourth-place finish at last year’s tournament.
“If you stay in the game long enough and you recruit well and have good assistant coaches, you get a shot to reach those milestones for career wins,” Church said. “I would not have one victory without the players and assistant coaches.”
To get to 600, the Buccaneers had to come from behind in two of their three victories.
Sophomore pitcher Kaci Federwisch (4-3) earned the final win of the day against Butler, powered by freshman Kristina Davila, who drove in four runs. Davila hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, her third blast of the day.
Shelbe Sterling hit a solo home run and finished with two RBIs on the day.
Federwisch also earned the Bucs’ first win of the day against Iowa Western, allowing six hits while striking out three.
Blinn trailed 4-4 until the bottom of the fifth, when Davila launched a three-run home run, and Thomasina Garza hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh to win the game. Garza finished the game 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
Tiffani McKnight went 2-for-2 with a double and Michelle Svehla went 2-for-3 with a double.
Freshman Caitie Karney (1-0) earned her first win of the season in the victory over Howard, throwing four innings before Shannon Sain came on to pitch the sixth.
Davila hit a two-run homer, McKnight added a three-run shot to finish with four RBIs and Leandra Maly went 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs.
The Buccaneers (10-4) continue Round Robin play Saturday with a 9 a.m. game against Grayson Community College and a 2 p.m. contest against McLennan Community College.