Missouri State Bears (18-30, 13-12 MVC) at 2010 State Farm MVC Softball Championship
Thursday, May 13-Saturday, May 15
Site: Buel Field (1,000)Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Live Stats: MissouriStateBears.comLive Video: MVC LiveTelevision: Fox Sports Midwest (Saturday's championship only)Radio: None
MSU Tournament History: 60-38 in 25 appearances (5 championships)
Last Year: MSU lost to Bradley, 3-2 in the opening round
Last Title: 2006 (3-0) at Omaha
After After posting their best conference finish in four years, the Missouri State Bears will make their 26th appearance in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Softball Championship this week in Des Moines, Iowa. The Bears wrapped up the regular season with a 13-12 Valley record despite just an 18-30 overall mark, and enter the tourney as the No. 5 seed after tying UNI for fourth in the MVC race. MSU will square off against the eighth-seeded Evansville Purple Aces (18-33, 10-16 MVC) in Thursday’s opening round at 11:30 a.m. A quarterfinal match-up against the No. 4 UNI Panthers (28-24, 13-12 MVC) awaits the winner at 4 p.m. Thursday.
The Bears took two out of three games from the Purple Aces, March 26-27, in Evansville, and have taken six out of the last seven meetings in the series over the last three seasons.
Follow the Bears
Live stats for all MSU games at the MVC Championship will be available on the Missouri State Athletics official web site, www.missouristatebears.com. Additionally, free live streaming video of all tournament games except the championship will be carried on MVC Live, which is available on The Valley’s website, www.mvc-sports.com.
Saturday’s title game will once again be carried live on Fox Sports Midwest. R.C. McBride and Laura Leonard will describe the action.
Tournament Quick Hits
Missouri State finished the regular season with its first +.500 MVC finish since 2006, when it went 18-4 to finish second in the Valley
The Bears snapped an eight-game skid when scoring three runs or less with Saturday’s 2-1 win at UNI
MSU is the fifth seed at the MVC Championship for the fourth time in the last 14 seasons and the sixth time overall, amassing a 9-9 record in its previous five appearances in that slot; coming into this year’s championship, the Bears have dropped four straight games as the fifth seed, but the 1997 Bears became the first Valley team to win the tournament title as the No. 5 seed
Missouri State has amassed more wins (60) than any other Valley team at the MVC Championship; the Bears--along with Creighton and Illinois State--have won the most titles (5) over the 27-year history of the event, and also have more two-(9) and three-time (3) all-tourney honorees; with a total of 37 MVC all-tournament selections, the Bears are the second-most decorated team (to Creighton’s 41 citations) in terms of total individual honors
On the strength of its three-game sweep at Creighton, Missouri State has a 4-6 record against the top four seeds (Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Creighton and UNI) in the MVC Championship; the Bears’ four wins vs. the group is tops in the league
MSU posted eight MVC victories away from Killian Stadium and went 9-10 overall in true road games, but just 2-8 in neutral-field contests during the regular season
Left-handed batters are hitting .330 against MSU pitching; righty’s are batting just .256, however
Junior Christa Gammon led the MVC in hits (34) and triples (2) in conference play while ranking third in hitting (.395) and fourth in runs scored (18); she also posted six multi-hit games over the final 11 games of the regular season while batting .463 (19-of-41)
Gammon has three separate hit streaks of five games or more this season, including a pair of career-long six-game streaks over the last four weeks; she has at least one hit in 15 of the Bears’ last 18 games overall, batting .426 (26-for-61) with 12 runs scored since April 10
Gammon is hitting .481 (13-of-27) with runners in scoring position in 2010
Junior Ashley Knehans had three multi-hit games over MSU’s last nine outings following a string of 16 straight contests without a multi-hit performance; she slugged .567 over the same stretch and had five RBIs in her last eight conference games after driving in just four runs in the Bears’ first 17 MVC games
Knehans is a career .308 (4-of-13) hitter over five previous MVC tournament games
Freshman Caitlin Chapin ranked eighth in MVC play with a .359 batting average; she has a team-best eight multi-RBI games overall, including one of four 4-RBI games turned in by a Bear this season
Chapin is tied atop the MSU freshman home run list after hitting her eighth long ball of the season Sunday at UNI to equal Jessie Smith’s rookie record, set in 2006
Chapin is hitting .404 (19-for-47) with five of her eight homers in MSU’s 19 true road games, but just .244 (10-for-41) in 18 contests at Killian Stadium
Junior infielder Jenna Schwark leads the club and ranks fifth in the MVC in overall batting (.357); she is second on the team in hits (50), and tops on the squad with 19 walks and 71 total bases
Schwark ranks as the toughest Valley player to strike-out this season and 34th nationally, fanning just one time for every 17.5 at-bats; she has whiffed just once in her last 17 games dating back to April 10, three times in 25 MVC games and just eight times overall in 2010
Schwark is hitting .467 (14-of-30) against left-handers and has reached base in 20 of 38 lead-off opportunities this season
Sophomore right-hander Natalie Rose’s three saves is tied for the top total in the MVC and ranks 27th nationally; after starting the season 1-7 with a 4.33 ERA over her first 14 appearances through March 26, Rose has given up just 22 earned runs (2.16 ERA) in 71.1 innings while going 5-4 over her last 19 outings
Rose allowed just one earned run (1.62 ERA), while striking-out five batters over 4.1 innings of relief work at last year’s MVC Championship
The Bears hit .362 as a team in their three game series with Evansville in March; against UE, six Bears have career averages of .364 or better, led by the performances of Chapin (7-for-10 in three games), and Gammon, who has a .615 career mark with five runs scored and four RBIs in six contests against the Purple Aces
The Bears enter the tournament with an all-time mark of 60-38 in 25 previous entries, including a 38-28 record and four titles in 19 appearances under head coach Holly Hesse.
Missouri State holds a 27-20 lead in its series with Evansville, including a 3-1 record against the Purple Aces in the MVC Tournament. The Bears took two of three meetings in Evansville in March and have won six of the last seven games played in the series dating back to 2008.
With its series win last weekend in Cedar Falls, UNI pulled even with the Bears in the overall series with 35 wins apiece. The Panthers have gotten the better of the Bears over the last four seasons, claiming five of the last six meetings. In MVC Championship play, however, the Bears have won seven of the previous nine contests played by the two schools.
Scouting the Bears
Picked to finish seventh in this year’s preseason Missouri Valley Conference race, the Bears recovered from an 0-7 start to post their first winning MVC campaign in four years, finishing with a 13-12 mark in conference play. The MSU offense has been led by junior infielder Jenna Schwark, who is batting .357 with five homers, 23 runs driven in and a team-high 71 total bases. Another junior, Christa Gammon, has also been strong at the plate, posting a Valley high 34 hits during conference play while batting .348 overall with team highs of 28 runs scored and nine stolen bases. MSU has gotten significant contributions from a talented freshman class, led by Caitlin Chapin. Chapin has tied a Missouri State freshman record with eight home runs so far, and leads the club with a .561 slugging percentage and 27 RBIs. Junior Ashley Knehans has also been a consistent power threat for the Bears, clubbing a career-high seven home runs, while driving in 20 runs to date. In circle, a trio of returnees have shared duties, led by sophomore right-hander Natalie Rose (6-11, 3.08 ERA, 3 saves),who has a team-high 106 strikeouts and leads the MVC with three saves. Senior Lauren McGinley (6-10, 4.97 ERA) has made a club-best 19 starts, completing five games, and fellow senior righty Lauren Supak (6-9, 3.65 ERA) leads the team with seven complete games in 18 starts.
Scouting the Purple Aces
Evansville was picked 10th in the Valley’s preseason poll and enters the tournament 18-33 after going 10-16 in MVC play. The Purple Aces struggled to generate a consistent offensive attack, posting a league-low .231 team batting average through the regular season. Sophomore shortstop Amy Gaertner has been the Aces top performer at the plate, hitting .312 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs coming into the tournament. Junior first baseman Jen Stahlhut has also been solid, batting .297 with team highs of 44 hits, 25 runs scored and 12 doubles. Freshman right-hander Kendall Kautz has been a bright spot for the Purple Aces in the circle, going 13-14 with a 3.55 ERA, 15 complete games and three shutouts in 29 starts.
Scouting the Panthers
Picked third in this year’s MVC preseason poll, UNI wrapped up its second straight winning season by taking two out of three games from the Bears over the weekend. The Panthers are 28-24 overall and finished 13-12 in conference play. UNI’s potent lineup features five players with 25 RBIs or more, led by senior Jen Larsen, who enters play with a .362 batting average. Reigning MVC Newcomer of the Year Mackenzie Daigh and fellow sophomore Lindsey Callanan are also hitting above the .300 mark, while Courtney Dunker has clubbed a team-high 13 homers. Junior Eranne Daugharthy has nine homers to go along with a club-best 32 runs driven-in, and 2009 first-team All-MVC honoree Megan Machovec ranks sixth nationally with six triples on the year. In the circle, UNI is led by sophomore lefty Melissa Tillett, who is 8-15 with a team-low 3.12 ERA in 27 appearances. Larsen has also given the Panthers quality innings, entering the tournament with a 14-8 mark, including four shutouts, and a 3.89 ERA. Sophomore Jaye Hutcheson has been solid out of the bullpen, turning in an MVC-high three saves and a 5-1 record.
Junior infielder Christa Gammon finished the conference season as the Valley’s leader in hits with 34 safeties in MVC play. Her .395 batting average over 25 league games ranked third in the circuit and marked a .151 point improvement from last year, when she hit just .244 in conference play. The Fairview Heights, Ill., product also tied for the league lead with two triples and rated fourth in runs scored (18) in Valley play this season.
Gammon was red-hot at the plate in MSU’s four road games March 24-27, particularly during the Bears’ series at Evansville. She reached base in eight of nine at-bats, going 7-for-8 over MSU’s first two games with the Purple Aces. The Belleville, Ill., product had three hits in a 5-4 loss on March 26 before turning in a career-best 4-for-4 effort that included three runs driven-in, two doubles and a pair of steals in game one of a doubleheader the following day. Gammon reached base and scored in each of her five plate appearances in the 14-10 MSU win to register the highest single-game run total for a Bear since at least the 1997 season when the school began logging individual game highs.
Highlighted by their first-ever three-game sweep of Creighton (April 2-3), the Bears finished the conference season with an 8-5 record on the road. That total is their best since 2006, when they went 9-1 in MVC road games for the year. The Bears’ five-game road win streak (March 27-April 3) in league play was also a program high over the last four seasons. MSU won its last nine Valley road games in 2006, after dropping its first match-up of the season at Wichita State.
Back in the Hunt
The Bears fourth place Valley finish represents their best since 2006, when they finished second in the regular-season standings before claiming their fifth MVC Tournament title. In 27 seasons in the Gateway/MVC, Missouri State has finished fifth or better on 15 occasions-including 10 times in the last 15 seasons-and 13 times during head coach Holly Hesse’s 22-year tenure.
Junior infielder Jenna Schwark saw her streak of 29 straight at-bats without a strikeout come to an end in the first inning of MSU’s series opener with Indiana State on May 1. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native hadn’t fanned in the Bears’ previous 12 games dating back to April 10. Schwark went down on strikes just three times in 68 Valley at-bats and eight times overall, an average of just once every 17.5 at-bats, which ranks 34th among all Division I players.
There’s No ‘I’ in Team
Missouri State’s recovery from an 0-7 start to a tie for fourth in the final Missouri Valley Conference standings was the result of a total team effort, as evidenced by the fact that no Bear was honored as MVC Player or Pitcher of the Week in 2010, despite boasting a lineup that features three of the top eight hitters in MVC play. Since 1998 when the Valley expanded its weekly softball awards to include pre-conference games, this year’s MSU team is the only league squad to finish fourth or better in the final standings without having a single individual player selected by the Valley’s panel of experts for a weekly award.
Additionally, in the 27 years the league has handed out its weekly awards, just nine total teams out of a possible 135 have finished among the top 5 teams in a given year without winning a single weekly award.
The Bears clubbed a pair of home runs last weekend at UNI to up their season total to 29, which represents the fourth-highest total on record at MSU. The Bears have already surpassed their season totals from each of the last two seasons, when MSU hit 20 and 21 homers, respectively.
Chugging Along with Chapin
One of the primary reasons for the Bears’ success with the long ball has been the emergence of freshman Caitlin Chapin, who leads the team with eight home runs. Her second-inning solo shot at UNI on Sunday moved her into a tie for the top spot on the Missouri State freshman home run list, equalling Jessie Smith’s (2006) MSU freshman record of eight dingers.
Chapin reached base safely via a hit or walk in 11 consecutive games from March 26-April 11. Chapin drew six walks during the Bears’ series win over Bradley (April 10-11) to record a team-high .692 on-base percentage for the week. Over that stretch, Chapin went 13-for-30 (.433) with four homers and 12 RBIs and posted a .541 on-base percentage and a .900 slugging percentage.
Back in Gear
The Bears ended a nine-game stolen base dry spell in their game one win over Indiana State (May 1) with Alaina Burkhart’s third-inning steal. MSU hadn’t recorded a single steal since April 11 and had just three total steals in their previous 17 outings before swiping a total of five bags against the Sycamores.
Missouri State broke out the bats against Indiana State (May 1-2), scoring 22 runs on 36 hits over its three-game sweep of the Sycamores. That performance represents the first time the Bears have posted three straight double-digit hit totals since Feb. 21-22 of last season, when they pounded out 39 safeties over three games at the North Texas Sleep Inn Classic. It also marked the first time the Bears achieved the feat in MVC play since March 2006, when they topped the 10-hit mark in five straight league outings vs. Indiana State and UNI. That series with UNI (March 25-26, 2006) was also the last time a Missouri State squad topped the 20-run plateau in a three-game Valley series, when it tallied 24 runs in sweeping the Panthers.
Pick a Number
Missouri State head coach Holly Hesse has employed 38 unique lineups in the Bears’ first 48 contests this season. The Bears utilized 19 different combinations over their first 20 games and until this past weekend at UNI, had trotted out the same lineup in back-to-back games just five times overall in 2010. Against the Panthers, however, the Bears used the same lineup in three straight contests for the first time all season.
No spot in the order has been safe, as each of the nine slots has featured no fewer than three different players in 2010. The leadoff spot has been the most stable, with Christa Gammon filling that role in each of the last 35 games and in 39 outings overall. The six-hole, by contrast, has been filled by 10 different Bears, led by Madison Hargrove’s 16 starts in that slot.
After batting just .131 as a team over a four-game stretch (April 14-17), the Bears rebounded with back-to-back nine-hit performances in a 6-0 win at Drake (April 18) and a 4-3 setback to Tulsa (April 21). MSU’s offensive outburst represented its top two single-game efforts at the plate since banging out 11 hits in a 6-2 win at Evansville on March 27. MSU kept its hot streak going by battering Indiana State (May 1-2) pitching for 36 hits in its three-game sweep to finish the week with a .366 average over four outings.
Junior outfielder Tyler Porter has emerged from her mid-season batting slump in a big way over the last several weeks. After collecting hits in just three of her previous 22 at-bats spanning 11 games, the Broken Arrow, Okla., native went 13-for-26 (.500) over an eight-game span, April 18-May 2. In those eight contests, Porter had six multi-hit games and scored five times to help spark the Bears’ offensive resurgence. She snapped out of her funk with a 3-for-3 afternoon vs. Drake (April 18) to key MSU’s offense in a 6-0 victory over the Bulldogs. Her three hits and two runs scored matched career highs, and her second-inning double that sparked a two-run rally for the Bears represented her first extra-base hit since Feb. 20, 2009.
Century Club for Schwark, Gammon
Junior infielder Jenna Schwark posted her 100th career hit with a fifth-inning single March 30 against 12th-ranked Oklahoma State to become the 34th Bear to eclipse the century mark for hits. Fellow junior Christa Gammon also topped the century mark for career hits with her 4-for-4 effort last Saturday at UNI.
Six Bears have posted hit streaks of five games or more this season, including three such stretches turned in by Christa Gammon. Freshman Caitlin Chapin saw her career-long seven-game hit streak come to an end April 8 vs. Oklahoma State. The Ozark, Mo., product hit .458 (11-for-24) with four home runs and 11 RBIs during the stretch that extended back to March 26.
In addition to Gammon and Chapin, Jenna Schwark (seven games), Madison Hargrove (six), Tyler Porter (six) and Alaina Burkhart (five) also have hit streaks of at least five straight games in 2010.
Missouri State’s freshman quartet of Caitlin Chapin, Kirstin Cutter, Lauren Eisenreich and Madison Hargrove combined to go 19-of-41 (.463) in MSU’s four games from March 24-27. The group was especially effective in a doubleheader sweep of Evansville (March 27), going 7-for-14 with four RBIs in a 14-10, game-one win and 7-for-13 (.538) in a 6-2 victory in the nightcap.
Coming up Roses
Sophomore right-hander Natalie Rose continued a string of solid performances by allowing just one earned run in 17.0 innings vs. Wichita State and Drake, April 14-18. Rose was the Bears’ most-consistent pitcher over a nine-game span (March 30-April 18), going 3-1 with a shutout and a save while posting a microscopic 0.46 ERA. Over the course of that same stretch, Rose held the opposition to a .192 batting average while recording 24 strikeouts against just one walk. She was successful thanks in large part to her command, producing a stretch of 33 1/3 innings in which she issued just one base on balls. That followed a stretch of 55.0 innings to start the season in which she handed out 21 walks while compiling a 1-7 record and 4.45 ERA.
The Bears turned in their most-productive two-game stretch ever March 17, scoring 29 runs and pounding six homers in a doubleheader sweep of IUPUI. In that two-game period alone, MSU more than doubled its season home run total and upped its team batting average from .240 to .276. MSU’s 17 runs scored in game two represented its highest single-game total since February 2007, when it defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff by a 20-4 score.
One and Done
With their 2-1 win at UNI on May 8, the Bears’ record in one-run contests improved to 6-10 on the season. Over the past two seasons, the Bears have played 32 one-run games, going just 13-19 in those outings.
Beware of the Mad Dog
Despite seeing her six-game hit streak come to an end vs. Rutgers (March 18), freshman catcher Madison Hargrove continues to make her presence felt both at the plate and behind it. She went 1-for-3, driving in the Bears’ lone run in a 3-1 setback at SIUE (March 9), before going 4-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored in three games at the Kansas Invitational (March 13-14). Hargrove’s fifth-inning single plated what would prove to be the deciding run in an 8-7 victory over the host Jayhawks (March 14). The Shawnee, Kan., product then registered the first multi-hit game of her career in the nightcap, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored in a 4-3 MSU loss.
Hargrove strung together another six-game streak (March 19-27) in which she went 8-for-19 (.421). Additionally, she has been one of the toughest catchers in the Valley to run on, nailing 12 would-be base-stealers on the season.
MVC Preseason Poll
Missouri State was picked to finish seventh in the 2010 Missouri Valley Conference coaches’ preseason poll. Three-time defending regular-season champion Creighton was the overwhelming favorite among coaches, gathering eight first-place votes and 97 points total. Southern Illinois garnered 85 total points to place second, followed by UNI (77) and Drake (71), which received one first-place vote. Illinois State (66) was picked fifth, while the Bears received 36 points, which was 11 points shy of Wichita State in the sixth spot. Bradley (33), Indiana State (21) and Evansville (17) rounded out the bottom third of the poll.
At Home on the Range
Despite entering the Kansas Invitational with an all-time mark of just 17-70 against KU, the Bears posted their second straight victory over the Jayhawks with an 8-7 win in game one of the two clubs’ March 14 doubleheader. The Bears also posted a breakthrough offensive showing at Arrocha Ballpark for the second consecutive year. Last March, MSU pounded KU with 14-hit barrage in a 13-8 victory for its top hit and run totals of the year.
Supak Shocks the Shocks
With a 1-0 win at Wichita State (March 24), senior righty Lauren Supak continued a stretch of dominance vs. the Shockers. Supak turned in complete-game shutouts in each of her first three career outings against WSU. She blanked the Shockers, 5-0 on March 26, 2009, in Wichita after giving up only six hits, and duplicated the feat on April 15 of last season, registering a 4-0, seven-hitter at Killian Stadium. In all, the Colorado Springs native allowed just 16 hits while fanning eight over her 21.0 straight shutout innings vs. WSU before her 5-1 home loss to the Shockers on April 14.
Nice Like Weiss
Bubba Weiss posted a career day in the Bears’ doubleheader sweep of IUPUI (March 17), leading the Missouri State attack with six hits and five RBIs on the afternoon. The senior third-baseman went 4-for-4 with a key first-inning, two-run single and a home run in game one, before tallying two more hits and a pair of RBIs in the nightcap.
Four for Class of 2010
Missouri State received four commitments during the National Letter of Intent signing period in November. Joining the Bears for the 2010-11 academic year will be St. Louis-area native Ashley Brentz (Ballwin, Mo.), along with a trio of standouts from the state of Texas, including Heather Duckworth (Mesquite), Jourdan Esquenazi (Prosper) and Savannah Wiggins (Huffman).
Brentz comes to the Missouri State program with the reputation as a speedy left-handed slapper who can play a number of different positions. A three-time all-conference selection as an infielder at Parkway South High School, Brentz swiped 50 bases in her career and helped lead the Patriots to a Missouri Class 4 runner-up finish as a junior in 2008. Playing on a team that produced three Division I signees, she added all-district and all-region honors to her resume after leading South in hitting with a .450 average last fall.
A four-sport athlete, as well as team mascot at North Mesquite High School, Duckworth is a three-time all-district performer as a corner infielder heading into her final prep season. This past spring, she was named Texas 11-5A District Offensive Player of the Year after earning a co-defensive player of the year nod the previous season. Duckworth also picked up district academic honors as a junior and played summer/fall ball for the same 18U Texas Glory Gold club that produced current MSU freshman Stevie Pierce.
Esquenazi will give the Bears another versatile weapon, but could have the chance to make an immediate impact in the circle for MSU. The right-hander was named Texas District 9-3A Pitcher of the Year in 2009, as well as Prosper High School’s defensive MVP as a junior when she led her team to a regional semifinal appearance and a 26-10 overall record. The previous season, Esquenazi earned 9-3A’s Utility Player of the Year honor in helping the Eagles to a district co-championship.
Wiggins joins the MSU program after earning Texas District 21-4’s MVP award as a junior last spring for Hargrave High School. She is expected to see immediate action in the circle for MSU, but has the offensive tools to earn a spot in Bears’ lineup as well. Wiggins enters her senior year as a three-time all-district performer, two-time team MVP and academic all-district honoree. She also earned four letters in volleyball at Hargrave and played summer ball for the 18U Texas Peppers Tanel 360 club.
All-Tourney Honors for Knehans
Junior Ashley Knehans earned all-tourney honors at the North Texas Sleep Inn Classic (Feb. 19-20) after batting .500 with her first home run of the season and three runs scored in the Bears’ four contests.
Off and Running?
The Bears 2-10 start represented their worst start to a season on record through 12 games. Missouri State dropped its first seven games before topping SEMO (March 6) to end a 12-game losing streak that surpassed the previous school-record dry spell of 10 games, which occurred during the 1989 season. In each of the Bears’ two previous winless starts of five games or more under Holly Hesse, they have rebounded to post a winning season in each instance. In 2000, the Bears bounced back to finish 30-28, then came back from an 0-5 start in 2003 to go 29-25 overall.
With their 12-4 win over IUPUI on March 17, the Bears improved to 27-9 in home openers since 1975, including a 15-7 mark under head coach Holly Hesse. After dropping a 3-0 decision to SIU March 19, however, Missouri State fell to 16-11 in conference openers. The Bears have lost or split each of their last four Valley-opening series after SIU claimed both ends of the doubleheader.
Bears Under Holly Hesse
Missouri State head coach Holly Hesse (Creighton, ’82) is 566-556-2 (.504) in her 22nd season at Missouri State. Last season, the Bears finished 19-25, one year after going 28-22 and recording three wins in two days at the MVC Tournament to reach the title game.
Hesse led the Bears to a school-record 40 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2006. Hesse’s teams have made four trips to the NCAA Tournament (1996, 1997, 1998, 2006) and have won four Missouri Valley Conference tournament championships. She also led the Bears to the Gateway Conference regular season championship in 1992 and the MVC regular season title in 1994. The Bears’ second-place MVC in finish in 2006 marked the 12th time during her tenure the Bears have finished in the top-five of the conference standings. It was also the sixth time the Bears have won 30 games in a season, with an average of over 26 wins per season since her arrival in 1989.
Hesse won her 500th career game at Missouri State in a 1-0 triumph over Indiana State on April 22, 2007. She joined Illinois State’s Melinda Fischer and Creighton’s Brent Vigness as the only active MVC coaches with 500 career wins.