Putting together one of the most successful seasons in the history of the Cowley College softball program, the Lady Tigers finished the 2012 season with a record of 49-8.
Cowley claimed a share of the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division title and went on to place fourth at the NJCAA Division II National Championships.
Outfielder Laura Seemann and second baseman Haley Strawn became the first-ever freshmen duo in the history of the Cowley College softball program to be named NJCAA First-Team All-Americans.
The duo had stellar first years at the school and each batted over .500 with a combined 35 home runs and 136 runs batted in.
Finishing only one game away from another conference title, the Cowley College baseball team had to settle for a second place finish in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division. The Tigers won the Super Regional in Garden City and advanced to play at the four-team Region VI Tournament at Wichita’s Lawrence Dumont Stadium before having its season come to an end with a record of 33-26.
Leading the Cowley College baseball team in several offensive categories, freshman first baseman Mike Parker was named the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division Freshman of the Year. Parker led Cowley in batting (.426), on base percentage (.538), home runs (three), doubles (15) and runs batted in (37).
Along with Parker being named Freshman of the Year, the Tiger baseball team had three players named first-team allconference and two more players receive honorable mention recognition.
With freshman Manuel Raga finishing as the national runner-up at No. 4 singles, the Cowley College tennis team finished in sixth place at the NJCAA Division I Men’s National Tennis Championship in Plano, Texas. The sixth place finish matches the Tigers’ highest finish in the past 11 seasons. Cowley also placed sixth at the national tournament during the 2003, 2004 and 2010 seasons.
Raga was named an ITA All-American and sophomore Zack Evenden garnered All-American honors for the second straight year.
The Tigers will return four players that made significant contributions to the team as freshmen.
Led by sophomore Diana Davitaia finishing as the national runner-up at No. 1 singles, the Cowley College women’s tennis team finished fourth at the NJCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships played in Tyler, Texas. The fourth place finish matches the highest the team has placed in the last 10 years.
For her efforts, Davitaia was named a NJCAA All-American.
Cowley will say goodbye to six sophomores, but will return three players that gained valuable experience as freshmen.
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field
Having won the previous four Jayhawk East conference titles, the Cowley College men’s track and field team had its streak come to an end. The Tigers, who also were the defending Region VI champions, placed third in the conference and sixth in the region.
Cowley had five conference champions and was led by sophomore Rick Valcin finishing as the conference and region champion in the pole vault.
The Tigers went on to place 15th out of 35 teams at the national meet and were led by its pole vault group as all three vaulters placed in the top-6. Sophomore Cody Rosson cleared 15-10 ½ in the pole vault and earned Honorable Mention All-American honors by placing third in the event. Fellow sophomores Rick Valcin and Josh Phillips each cleared 15-4 ½ and placed fifth and sixth, respectively. By placing among the top-eight American-born athletes in the pole vault, Phillips earned Coaches Association All-American honors.
Shane Lundquist placed sixth in the discus and Rodgerick Woods finished eighth in the decathlon to also earn Coaches Association All-American honors.
Sophomore runners Fred Taylor and Charles Ross had decorated careers at Cowley come to an end.
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field
The Cowley College women’s track and field team was tripped up in its quest for a sixth straight Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division outdoor titles as they placed third in the conference and seventh in the region. The Lady Tigers were led by freshman Niki Andrews being crowned the conference champion in the heptathlon.
Finishing its season at the NJCAA Outdoor National Championships, Cowley finished in 26th place. Freshmen Kira Vega (sixth in the javelin) and Niki Andrews (seventh in the pole vault) were named Coaches Association All- Americans.
Sophomores Maria Schmidt (10th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase) and Jessalyn Lanoy (13th in the 1,500-meter run) finished solid careers at the school.