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Published 3/17/2005

Owens Express Softball Opens Home Season Against Kalamazoo Valley Community College, March 28

Owens Express Softball Team Owens Community College women's softball will open its 2005 home season against Kalamazoo Valley Community College on Monday, March 28. The game will begin at 3 p.m.

All home games will be played at the College's Softball Complex on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road, four miles from downtown Toledo. Admission to all home games is free.

The Owens softball program is guided by second-year Head Coach Duane Lanham of Sylvania. In his first year as Head Coach, he led the Express to 28 wins. His Assistant Coaches are Joe Boise of Sylvania and Gary Godwin of Swanton.

The Express women's softball program this past year finished with a 28-9 overall record and a 12-4 mark (second place) in the OCCAC. Owens advanced to the second round of the NJCAA Region XII Women's Softball Championships before losing to Grand Rapids Community College. Coach Lanham's squad was ranked as high as No. 15 in the NJCAA Division II women's softball poll.

"I'm looking forward to the women's softball program having a very successful season," said Lanham. "We have great veteran leadership from our returning players, as well as an outstanding and motivated group of first-year players."

The seven Express players returning from last year's team include NJCAA All-Region XII Team selection April Nietrzeba of Maumee (Maumee H.S.). In 2004, the sophomore pitcher / infielder posted a 20-7 record and a 1.85 earned run average for the Express. She also was named the team's Most Valuable Player and earned OCCAC Academic All-Conference honors.

Lanham's squad also returns Jenae Caldwell of Millbury (Lake H.S.) and Mandy Wingate of Lambertville, Mich. (Bedford H.S.). Caldwell, a sophomore infielder, led the team with 34 RBIs and compiled a .345 batting average. Her postseason honors included being named to the NJCAA Region XII All-Tournament Team. Wingate is a sophomore outfielder. In 2004, she was named the team's Offensive Player of the Year and earned OCCAC Academic All- Conference honors. She was third on the team with 47 hits, had 32 RBIs and compiled a .420 batting average.

Other returning sophomore players include Leigh Zajac of Rossford, outfielder (Rossford H.S.); Sarah Morgart of Wayne, infielder (Elmwood H.S.); Ashley Correll of Fostoria, infielder (Fostoria H.S.), and Jenny Shultz of Grand Rapids, infielder (Otsego H.S.).

First-year players to the Express women's softball program are Lindsay Guinn of Erie, Mich., infielder (Mason H.S.); Cortney Simmons of Rossford, outfielder (Rossford H.S.); Kari Bockbrader of Toledo, pitcher / infielder (Whitmer H.S.); Monica Brinkman of Oregon, outfielder (Notre Dame Academy); Allicia Lawrence of Fostoria, catcher (St. Wendelin H.S.); Katie Henry of Erie, Mich., pitcher (Mason H.S.); Tracy Lehman of Whitehouse, catcher (Anthony Wayne H.S.); Kelli Short of Toledo, pitcher / infielder (Rogers H.S.); Kylie Zweifel of Sylvania, outfielder (Southview H.S.); Mackenzie Heban of Grand Rapids, infielder (Notre Dame Academy); Crissy Kohler of Oregon, outfielder / catcher (Clay H.S.); Valerie Jesse of Lambertville, Mich., catcher (Bedford H.S.), and Victoria Kolb of Toledo, infielder (Central Catholic H.S.).

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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