1984 Softball TeamComing off two consecutive second place finishes in the MIAA tournament, the 1984 Northwest softball team finally broke through topping Southeast Missouri State 6-2 to win the school’s first MIAA softball championship. At times during the season, the Bearcats were just plain dominate under the direction of Gayla Steenbergen, the program’s all-time winningest coach. A team built on strong pitching and defense completed 10 shut-outs during the year and held opponents to a minuscule .196 batting average in 37 games. The offense provided some power as well outscoring their opponents by over 100 runs on the season. In fact, in their 23 victories, they won by an average of nearly 5 runs.
This squad was filled with top performers all around the diamond. The pitching staff was led by a pair of “Shellys” throughout the year…Shelly McClure threw two of her program record four no-hitters during that season and Shelley Lewis led the pitching staff with 14 wins on her way to setting a program record for the lowest ERA in one season at 0.51. Several members of the team were recognized as All-MIAA performers led by first teamers Shelley Lewis, Stephanie Storey at second and outfielder Cathy Schultz. Shortstop Karen Hopewell earned second team honors and honorable mention accolades went to catcher Kathy Kelsey and Julie Gloor at third.
The team would go on to make a second straight appearance in an NCAA Regional but were eliminated after dropping a pair of 1-run games.