During a ceremony held on Jan. 25 at Southwestern Community College, Riley Coates, Martensdale St. Marys High School senior; Lexi Herbert, King City R-1 High School (Mo.) senior; and Melody Stevens, Norwalk High School senior, signed letters of intent to play softball at SWCC starting with the fall 2014 semester.
Coates, who plays shortstop and infield, has been a member of a quality Martensdale St. Marys team, which has for the Class 1A State Championships six years in a row. The team won the tournament in 2012. She is the daughter of Mike and Dianne Coates of Indianola.
Coates is excited to come to Southwestern because she likes the small town feeling. “Everyone has been very friendly and helpful when I visited campus,” Coates said. “Coach Stumpff takes time to explain the program and I’m excited to be a part of the team and a part of their continued success.”
Herbert, who spends time as catcher, outfielder, and third baseman, has been a two-time all-state first team selection in Missouri, two-time first team all St. Joseph News Press Team catcher, St. Joseph News Press small school player of the year in 2012, two-time first team all-conference catcher, two-time first team all-region catcher, two-time first team all-district catcher, and first team all-district outfielder in 2011. She is the daughter of Rick Herbert and Susan Herbert of King City, MO.
Herbert says she chose SWCC primarily because of the small campus and smaller class sizes. “I come from a small town and the area surrounding Creston is very similar to my hometown of King City.”
Stevens, an outfielder, is a two-time first team all-conference outfielder in the Little Hawkeye Conference. She was named second team all-state in 2012-13, is a two-time academic all-conference selection, is a two-time second team selection to the Indianola Record-Herald all-county players, was named all-district as an outfielder and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Aaron and Kim Stevens of Norwalk.
Stevens said she loved the homey atmosphere in Creston and at SWCC. “The class sizes are similar to Norwalk, so I will be able to participate more and have direct interaction with my professors,” Stevens explained. “After meeting the players and seeing how nice and open they were, I know I will fit in very well there and am super excited to start the next chapter of my life at SWCC!”
The Spartans are rebuilding this year, coming off an outstanding spring 2013 season with 11 sophomores on the team. Their 2013 season ended at the regional softball tournament in Fort Dodge where they made it through the second round of the tournament with a 3-2 win vs. NIACC. In third round action, it was DMACC who stopped the Spartans’ tournament run with a 12-9 loss. SWCC Head Softball Coach Lindsay Stumpff is in her eighth year of coaching the Spartans.