Eagles' Keller gets coaching win #200
April 5, 2007
Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
Benedictine University head softball coach Kate Keller earned her 200th career coaching victory in the second game of her team’s Northern Athletics Conference doubleheader sweep of Dominican University at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex. The Eagles (10-10, 6-2 NAC) won by scores of 6-3 and 13-0 over the Stars (0-10, 0-4).
“I seriously had no idea,” said a surprised Keller after being honored in a post-game celebration. “It was a lot of fun to be recognized, but obviously that kind of honor is not the reason we coach. It’s just something that occurs. Our goal is to win as many games as we can every season.
“It is really more of a testament to the quality players I have had here during my tenure. It is truly all about the players. The way I see it, the more wins I have as a coach, then the better the program is at Benedictine University.”
Currently in her ninth season at the Eagles’ helm, Keller’s coaching milestone just adds to her already secure legacy in the annals of Benedictine University softball history. As a player for Benedictine from 1993-96, Keller – formerly Kate Enochs - was a four-time All-America selection, earning first-team accolades as a senior. She led her teams to four consecutive conference titles and NCAA Division III playoff berths in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
Likewise, Keller’s maiden name is still found prominently in the NCAA Division III record book. Entering the 2007 season, she ranked among the all-time leaders in earned run average (0.73/4th), shutout (41/8th), winning percentage (80-13/.860/11th), victories (80/14th) and strikeouts (545/29th).
Just two years after graduating, Keller took over the Benedictine program from Sue Larson. After going 11-14 in her inaugural coaching season in 1998, Keller reeled off four straight winning campaigns, including two 30-plus win seasons. Entering 2007, Keller was averaging nearly 24 wins per year (she did not coach in 2003 due to the birth of her second child).
Versus Dominican on Thursday, Keller’s Eagles found themselves down 3-0 after the first ½ inning of play in game one, before getting off of the deck to shut out the Stars the rest of the afternoon. Benedictine scored twice in the bottom of the first and knotted the game at 3-3 in the third. A three-run fifth inning was the difference.
Starting pitcher Melissa Kennedy struck out six and walked three, while allowing five hits (four in the first inning alone), improving her personal record to 7-4 on the year. Kennedy also led the Eagles with the bat, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored.
As a team, the Eagles had four doubles. Freshman Lisa Rybak (2-for-3) and sophomore Krisitn Bonk (1-for-3) had the others. Freshman shortstop Lisa Hodges also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3, while Rybak and sophomore secondbaseman Sara Sanchez each had two runs batted in.
In game two, Rybak took the circle and registered the complete-game shutout. She struck out four and walked one, permitting just two hits.
Bonk, handling the catching chores in the second game, carried the big stick for the Eagles by going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Bonk laced two doubles as the Eagles had five two-baggers in all (along with Sanchez, Katie Bellich and Kim Bakota).
Sanchez, Bellich, Kennedy and Hodges all had two hits in the game. Rybak and Bellich each had two RBI.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education
recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes
magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business
as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.