University of Cincinnati Clermont College fastpitch softball coach Dan Kinney will be guiding the success of a young team that has the potential to enjoy success despite the amount of youth and college inexperience.
A total of 10 of his 18 players are freshmen. The Cougars will be building around the leadership and experience of just two seniors and two juniors. There are four sophomores on the UC Clermont roster.
Kinney is pleased he has “a lot more pitching. I have five pitchers to work with this year instead of just the two we had last year,” he said.
Kinney has not had much of a chance to analyze his mostly new talent. "We've been outside just a couple of times this year, but from what I have seen I am real pleased with our pitching staff," he said.
The mound corps consists of four righties - Hall and Neal and Samantha Weber, a Bethel-Tate grad, and Jessica Drees, and lefty Amber Thompson, a New Richmond grad.
"We're going into a new league (Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference), but I expect big things from this team. We have the potential to do pretty well," Kinney concluded.
The Cougars' roster includes:
Ashley Allen, freshman outfielder/second base, Bethel-Tate High School graduate; Lindsay Dean, freshman outfielder/second base, Williamsburg High School graduate; Kelsi Hall, freshman pitcher/first base, Williamsburg High School graduate; Lauren Hammock, freshman outfielder/second base, Batavia High School graduate; Kathryn Lewis, freshman catcher/outfielder, Glen Este High School graduate; Brittany Neal, sophomore pitcher/third base, Bethel-Tate High School graduate; Jody Skeen, sophomore outfielder/first base, Glen Este High School graduate; Amber Thompson, freshman pitcher/first base, New Richmond High School graduate; Danielle Vandervelde, freshman catcher/shortstop, Glen Este High School graduate; Samantha Weber, freshman pitcher/first base, Bethel-Tate High School graduate; Jessica Conners, sophomore outfielder/second base, Oak Hills graduate; Jessica Drees, freshman pitcher/shortstop, Troy graduate; Allison Hibner, junior first base/outfielder, Vandalia Butler graduate; Danielle Kidwell, junior catcher/first base, Hillsboro graduate; Taylor McDonald, senior third base/second base, Fischer Catholic graduate; Kelsey Penquite, freshman outfielder/first base, Fairmount graduate; Sarah Stratman, sophomore second base/third base, Western Brown graduate; and Melanie Vagedes, senior outfielder/shortstop, Tippecanoe graduate.
Dan Kinney is the head coach and the assistant coach is Mike Conners. Peggy Hager is the academic advisor. An associate professor of mathematics, she is a Glen Este High School graduate and a member of the University of Cincinnati Clermont College Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Cougars' home games will be played at the Tealtown Fields on Tealtown Road, Union Township.
The remainder of the Cougars' schedule, including starting time, is as follows:
April 10 Miami University - Hamilton, 1 p.m. (doubleheader); April 11 at Ohio University - Lancaster, 1 p. m. (doubleheader); April 15 Saint Mary of the Woods, 3 p.m. (doubleheader); April 16 Southern State University, 3:30 p.m. (doubleheader); April 19 Ohio Christian, 3:30 p. m. (doubleheader); April 20 Clark State University, 3:30 p.m. (doubleheader); April 21 Miami University - Middletown, 4 p.m.; April 23 at Ohio University - Chillicothe, 3:30 p.m. (doubleheader); April 28 at Miami University - Middletown, 4 p.m.; and May 1 at Ohio State University - Newark, 1 p.m. (doubleheader).
The Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference (OCAC) is its second year of existence. In addition to Clermont College (3,241 students), the other members of the OCAC are Clark State Community College Eagles, Springfield, Ohio (3,340); Ohio Christian University Trailblazers, Circleville, Ohio (700); Ohio State University - Mansfield Mavericks, Mansfield, Ohio (1,610); Ohio State University - Marion Scarlet Wave, Marion, Ohio (1,485); Southern State Community College Patriots, Hillsboro, Ohio (900); Temple Baptist College Rams, Cincinnati (200); and World Harvest Bible College Warriors, Canal Winchester, Ohio (450).
The Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference also sponsors athletic championships in men's and women's basketball, men's baseball, women's fastpitch softball, women's volleyball, golf, and men's soccer.