TriCounty Illinois Central softball coach Lorene Ramsey, who has molded dozens of outstanding players in her long Cougar career, may have never had a player like Kim Hartzler of Washington.
An outstanding pitcher who finished last season with a 17-2 record and an ERA of 0.85 Hartzler also was the team's leading hitter with .477 average, a flock of extra base hits and 62 RBls.
"I've had some very versatile pitchers in the past, but I've never had a pitcher that hit almost .500," praised Ramsey.
Hartzler always had her bat in the lineup, playing third when not pitching. And she was no slouch there, either. "She's played third base for us in All-American fashion defensively," points out Ramsey.
"In my years involved with ICC softball, I have never seen one person be such an impact player offensively, pitching and defensively," says batting coach Rudy Rudolph.
"She can hit for singles or for power," points out Ramsey. "She's a tremendous RBI player."
Hartzler, who is now attending Eastern Illinois University, was selected along with teammate Brigit Cornish for the United States Junior College All-Star team that played in the Canada Cup tournament last season. She played every inning of all nine games.
In 1995 she also was named to the First Team All Regional; first team all regional tournament; Most Valuable Player NCAA regional tournament; first team National Softball Coaches Association All-American; first team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American.
Her .478 batting average at ICC last season was the highest average of any regular player in the 27-year history of the ICC softball program.
Illinois Central softball coach Lorene Ramsey, who has molded dozens of outstanding players in her long Cougar career, may have never had a player like Kim Hartzler of Washington.
Ulrich has coached in the Junior Football League and youth baseball for 32 years, while also serving as president of numerous youth leagues and director of the Peoria Diocesan basketball tournament. He began volunteering as coach for the Richwoods Browns JFL team in 1971 and served in a coaching or administrative capacity for the Richwoods JFL program from 1971-89. In addition, he served as a coach and president of the Richwoods League League, as well as Pony League, from 1975-85. During that same period, he coached the Bergan All-Star Pony League from 1981-84. In his role as St. Thomas Grade School athletic director for 32 years, Ulrich directed the 11 boys (six) and girls (five) basketball teams for 27 years, scheduling tournaments, ordering uniforms and hiring officials among his many duties. He also served as director of the Peoria Diocesan Tournament for 14 years. Ulrich coached basketball at Peoria Heights Grade School from 2006-11 and he volunteered as manager of a fastpitch team in the Peoria Park District Softball League for 23 years, while also playing on the team for several seasons. He currently is completing his two-year stint as the St. Philomena School 5th Grade boys basketball team and is preparing for his second year of coaching in the Irish youth baseball program.