Ed Hargrove, the winningest coach in the history of Cowley College athletics, coached his final game on Friday as the No. 6-seeded Lady Tiger softball team suffered a 4-2 loss to No. 9-seed Kankakee Community College at the NJCAA Division II National Softball Championships held at Traceway Park in Clinton, MS. Cowley finishes in a tie for seventh at the national tournament.
The Lady Tigers went 2-2 at the national tournament and finish the year with a record of 43-14. In Hargrove's 30 years in charge of the program, Cowley won 1,142 games, 18 conference titles, and made 10 national tournament appearances.
"I will miss seeing the players develop and trying to make a difference in the players lives," Hargrove said. After a rough patch in the middle of the season, Hargrove helped get this year's team back on track as the Lady Tigers won 21 of their final 25 games.
"Midway through the season not a lot of people gave us a chance to be at the national tournament," Hargrove said. "This I where I wanted it to end. Obviously, you get greedy once you get here and win a game, but every team in Region VI would have loved to have been in our shoes today."
Kankakee head coach Dennis Clark is in his 32nd year at the school and has amassed 1,131 career wins as Friday's game featured two Hall of Fame coaches. Kankakee advances to play No. 5-seed Des Moines Area Community College.
Along with Hargrove, Cowley will say goodbye to nine sophomores. The sophomores are, centerfielder Jordan Haya, second baseman Stephanie Couser, third baseman Caitlyn Cosme, catcher Taylor Watham, right fielder Rondeci Oliver, pitchers Jessica Seay and Brooke Benge, as well as reserves Sierra Schumacher and Lauren Collyer.
Cowley will return several talented players, including left fielder Morgan Swisher, shortstop Sarah Glass, pitcher/designated hitter Taya Haney, and first baseman Tiffany Isam.