Southeast Community College head softball
Coach Bob Ginsburg knew heading into last weekend's Region IX
Tournament in Columbus that his team was ready to do something special.
"The girls put it together," Ginsburg said. "We went into this tournament knowing that we would determine the winner."
The Storm won the tournament for the first time in program history,
defeating the host team Central Community College 6-5 in eight innings
to open play, North Platte Community College 10-5 in Game 2 and CCC 4-1
for the championship.
will host the winner of the Region 11B Tournament that has been plagued
by rain. The District G best-two-of-three series will be played May 7
(at 1 and 3 p.m.) and May 8 (if necessary) at Hannibal Park in Beatrice.
The winner advances to the National Junior College Athletic Association
Division II Tournament May 18-21 at Traceway Park in Clinton,
Ginsburg said his team is playing good softball at the right time.
struggled this year against both Central and North Platte," the
third-year coach said. "We split with North Platte when they came here,
but when we traveled back from our spring break trip (March 22), they
took us apart. They beat us two games by a combined score of 32-1.
us it was a learning process. Against Central, we played two games in
Beatrice and they beat us 6-1 and 3-1. We were just coming off a great
start (to the season) and got cold."
April 13 the Storm traveled to Central and split games, losing 12-3 in
the opener before winning 9-0, the first win over CCC during the regular
season in three years. Ginsburg said sophomore pitcher Megan Hartman
from Lincoln Southwest "had as dominant a pitching performance she's had
in her two years" in the second-game shutout.
set the stage," Ginsburg said. "Coming out of that weekend, I knew we
were making changes and correcting problems that needed to be
Ginsburg shuffled the
lineup, among other things, and SCC began to improve in many facets of
the game. The Storm closed out the regular season winning four of their
last six games.
SCC began playing
intercollegiate softball in fall 2010 with an exhibition schedule. The
spring 2011 campaign was SCC's first of competitive softball. The first
few seasons were challenging, as was Ginsburg's first, when the Storm
won just three games out of 40 contests. Southeast finished last season
with a 15-35 record.
"The 3-37 team,
they were not athletes, but they had heart," Ginsburg said. "From the
very beginning to the very end, they set the stage for Megan Hartman's
recruiting class to come in and for the current class. It was that group
that showed the student-athletes that Southeast Community College is a
community college where you can start your education and play serious
Last fall Ginsburg had an inkling his 2015-16 squad could win some games this spring.
knew when we got together in the fall that this team had what it took
to play softball the way SCC needs to play," he said. "We're playing in
the district championship.
breakfast on Friday a group of girls came up to me and said, 'coach, do
you know we're three wins away from going to nationals?' It choked me
up. I responded, I've never heard that commitment from softball players
here at SCC. And with that commitment, we're moving forward, and
nobody's going to stop us."
players earned spots on the Region IX All-Tournament Team. They are
Hartman, freshman Brooke Brestel from Lincoln, freshman Aryssa
Borrenpohl from Beatrice, sophomore Alexis Graewe from Lincoln (Lincoln
High), and freshman Ashten Vater from Beatrice.
Brestel and freshman Savannah Grabowski from Beatrice earned spots on
the All-Region IX Team, and Ginsburg was named Coach of the Year.
Also, for the third consecutive year, the Storm won the Sheila R. Worley Sportsmanship Award.
award usually goes to the last-place team," Ginsburg said. "Not only
did we win Region IX, we won the Sportsmanship Award. That's a testament
to these girls believing in each other."
Ginsburg said the improvement in the Storm softball team will benefit recruiting.
program and these girls are seeing what the future of athletics will be
like at Southeast," he said. "We're going to hear from more athletes
who realize this is the place to start their college education and play
softball. We have a high GPA (grade-point average). We're making this
available to girls, and they're seeing it."