Four former Missouri State softball players have been named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Softball Team, announced by the league Friday. Nora Cagwin (1996-99), Barb Gaines (1990-93), Kate Madden (1993-96), and Diedre Shores (1995-98) were selected to the team through an on-line fan vote and by a centennial committee. The Valley is naming all-centennial teams for each of the conference’s sponsored sports, in celebration of its centennial year.
Nora Cagwin was a three-time First Team All-MVC Selection and was the league’s Pitcher of the Year in 1998 and 1999. Cagwin was also the 1998 MVC Tournament MVP as she led the Bears to their third consecutive tournament title. She is Missouri State’s career leader in strikeouts (767) and appearances (148), and is second all-time with 71 wins, 706.1 innings pitched, 69 complete games, and 29 shutouts. Her strikeout and appearance totals are third-most in the history of the MVC. Cagwin played on three NCAA Tournament teams (1996, 97, 98) while at Missouri State.
Barb Gaines was the first player in conference history to win first team all-league honors four straight years. The third baseman became the first MSU softball player to earn All-America honors, as she was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America third team as a senior in 1993. Gaines was the 1992 Gateway Conference Co-Player of the Year and was the MSU Outstanding Female Athlete in 1992 and 1993. Her .403 career batting average is the best mark all-time in the MVC and at Missouri State. She also holds the MSU career record for hits (252), is second in stolen bases (58) and at-bats (626), and ranks third in runs (113) and putouts (1,013). Gaines was inducted into the Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.
Kate Madden was the 1996 MVC Player of the Year and tournament MVP as she led the Bears to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years. Her senior year ranks as arguably the best offensive season in conference history. Madden’s .450 batting average, 86 hits, 60 runs, and 37 stolen bases in 1996 still ranks atop the MVC and the Missouri State single-season charts. Voted to the all-centennial team as a utility player, Madden is MSU’s career record holder in runs (123) and stolen bases (59), ranks second in batting average (.349) and third in hits (206).
Diedre Shores was a two-time First Team All-MVC selection (1997, 1998) and was a three-time All-Tournament team member (1996-98) as she helped lead the Bears to three consecutive tournament crowns. The second baseman played on three NCAA Tournament teams at Missouri State and set single season school records in 1997 with 61 games played, 193 at-bats and 18 doubles. Shores holds MSU career records in total bases (283) and slugging percentage (.473), and is second in runs scored (116), doubles (43), and walks (78). She is one of four players in school history to reach 200 hits, as she totaled 202 in her career.
All four players were tutored under current Bears’ coach Holly Hesse (1989-current). Hesse is the school’s winningest coach with 501 wins in 19 seasons.
Click here to view the official release from the Missouri Valley Conference with the entire all-centennial team.