UC Clermont College, Colleges Around Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati

Cougars Softball Aiming for Return to Nationals

UC Clermont team to build on pitching strength, new players this season.

Date: 2/28/2017 4:30:00 PM
By: Mae Hanna
Phone: (513) 732-5332

UC ingot   The UC Clermont College softball team is welcoming an influx of talent for 2017 and is looking to return to the heights the Cougars reached two years ago, when they made the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series.
Front L-R: Brittany Freson, McKayla Jacobs, Jessica Cahill, Cassidy DeVore, Madison Taber, Megan McCarthy. Back L-R: Chris Kinney, Molly Murphy, Bethany Perkins, Maggie Block, Regan Inlow, Tim Allen, Dan Kinney. Missing: Brianna Stacy, Kaitlyn Clark.

This year, Head Coach Dan Kinney welcomes six freshmen to his program and will have a much deeper team than the one that went 4-13 last season.

“We’re going to be two or three deep at each position,” Kinney said. “This is one of the best group of freshmen we’ve ever had.”

The team’s biggest strength will be pitching, as the Cougars boast a roster that includes six talented pitchers. Leading the way will be junior Madison Taber, who went 12-5 two seasons ago.

Other leaders for the team include sophomore catcher Molly Murphy and senior Brittany Freson, who led the team in hitting last season.

“Brittany hit .500 last year and is also an excellent shortstop,” Kinney said. “She’s one of the quickest players I have ever seen, and she leads the team in stolen bases.” Kinney also named Brianna Stacey and Bethany Perkins as talented returning players to keep an eye on.

But one challenge for the Cougars will be finding chemistry with a roster full of new faces. Kinney does have the advantage of stability, as he’s been with the program since its inception and has served as head coach since 2008.

“I really enjoy being here and seeing the improvements players make from the first time they step into the gym at our first practice to the end of the season,” he said. “I just try to help them get better and be a positive influence.”

While the Cougars have a talented roster, they also have a clear goal: returning to the USCAA Softball National Championship. Clermont has been twice before, and Kinney said the Cougars would love to make a third trip this season.

“That’s a big thing for the girls,” he said. “They get to go away for four or five days, and it’s really a lot of fun.”

But first, the schedule is filled with plenty of challenges for Clermont, including a matchup against Division II Oakland City University on March 20 and with OU Chillicothe on March 24 and April 14. The season opens for the Cougars Saturday, March 4 at Miami Middletown.

For more information about the softball program visit: http://www.ucclermont.edu/athletics/WomensSoftball.html

UC Clermont Athletics includes Women's Volleyball, Men's & Women's Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Baseball and Softball. The UC Clermont Cougars participate in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The Cougars have been successful in bringing home national championship titles in men’s and women’s basketball and baseball. In addition, the volleyball and softball programs have been ranked nationally and have been highly competitive in national tournament play.