SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — When Columbia College freshman Valerie Teter struck out Morgan Parkhurst of William Woods to win the NAIA American Midwest Conference Championship for the Cougars on Saturday, she didn’t do much celebrating.
When she was named the AMC Freshman of the Year during an awards ceremony after the game, Teter said she was surprised but not excited.
Aside from their conference title, Columbia College also racked up some conference accolades at a ceremony after the game. First Team All-Conference members: Valerie Teter Katie McMahon Lindsey Williams Samantha Stringer Honorable Mention: Rachel Brawner Ashley Farmer Freshman of the Year: Valerie Teter Coach of the Year: Wendy Spratt Pitcher of the Year: Katie McMahon Player of the Year: Valerie Teter
Moments later, Teter was named the conference player of the year. Once again, she didn’t show any emotion, only cracking a momentary smile for a photo of her with her plaque.
Later, Columbia College coach Wendy Spratt asked Teter what it would take to get her excited, and she responded by saying that she didn’t know.
According to Spratt, Teter’s relaxed demeanor is a great quality for a pitcher to have. It keeps her from getting rattled on the mound when things aren’t going her way.
“She’s calm, cool, collected,” senior Lindsey Williams said. “Pressure situations, she’s awesome. She’s got the talent and the ability and she always works hard.”
On Saturday, Teter led the Cougars to a 9-0 run-rule victory over William Woods in five innings. Teter performed well on the mound and at the plate, striking out 10 batters and hitting a grand slam in the second inning to break the game open.
The Cougars added the conference tournament championship to their regular season title, essentially guaranteeing them the top seed in the Region V Tournament that starts on May 6. The winner of that tournament receives an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.
Senior pitcher Katie McMahon received her second-straight AMC Pitcher of the Year Award. McMahon finished the year with a record of 17-4 while Teter was 17-5.
Spratt, who was named AMC Coach of the Year, said that some of the credit for the success of the two pitchers should go to freshman catcher Stephanie Schultz.
Working with Schultz made Teter’s transition to the college level much easier, because the pair have worked together on summer teams when they were in high school. Schultz calls all of Teter’s pitches.
“A lot of times it takes a little while, at least the first part of the season, to get in sync with a catcher,” Spratt said. “Since they have been pitching and catching together for a long time, they know what each other is thinking.”
Spratt said that Schultz has done well meshing with McMahon as well. In the past, senior pitchers at Columbia College have had trouble adjusting to a new catcher, but McMahon and Schultz have not had any similar problems.
It was the second conference tournament championship for McMahon and senior center fielder Lindsey Williams, who won the tournament as freshmen.
All-Conference 1st team:
Freshman of the Year:
Coach of the Year:
Pitcher of the Year:
Player of the Year: