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Cottey's Skapin Named Region XVI COTY - KOAM TV 7

Cottey's Skapin Named Region XVI COTY

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NEVADA, MISSOURI -

Cottey College’s softball coach, Mark Skapin, was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coach of the Year in Region XVI following the Region XVI tournament.

“When Mark interviewed with us last May, everyone on the committee knew this was the coach who could make a difference with the Comets,” said Dr. Mari Anne Phillips, vice president for student life. “I don’t think any of us realized how quickly he would turn the Comets into a contender, however.”

When he was hired last May, Skapin had this to say about the Comets. “Cottey College is an incredibly special community and has so much to offer prospective student athletes. I know that over the next few years this program will compete at a high level while also providing students with one of the best academic experiences in the Midwest. I am excited to be a part of an outstanding community here in Nevada and know that with hard work and dedication we can build a successful softball program for years to come.”

In his first year, Skapin led a dramatic turnaround of the softball Comets. From 2014 through 2016, the Comets had a combined record of 3-85. This season the Comets had a regular season record of 12-16. On top of that, the Comets entered the regional tournament as the fourth

seed out of four teams, yet compiled a 3-1 record and won the Region XVI tournament defeating the top-ranked St. Louis Community College Archers in two out of three games that weekend.

Four of Skapin’s players were named to the All-Region team: Hannah Bridges, who was also named an NJCAA Division II player of the week; Marisa Jervis; Elizabeth “Izzy” Milligan; and Michala Coffman. This number of players is the largest from a single Cottey team to be named All-Region.

Skapin, giving credit to his players, noted that several single-season Comet records were broken this year. Jervis set the record for wins with 13; Bridges set the home run record with six; Coffman scored 23 runs this season; Bridges drove in 28 runs; Milligan had 43 hits; Coffman had three triples; the team batting average was .315; the Comets scored 174 runs on the season; and including the Region XVI tournament, the Comets set the record for wins in a season with 15.

Skapin is busy recruiting to improve on this year’s outstanding season. He already has 12 players who have signed a letter of intent to play next year for the Comets. He is still actively pursuing additional talent to turn the Comets into a perennial threat to win the region.

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