UC Clermont fastpitch softball team winning out against through very rain-plagued campaign

The members of the University of Cincinnati Clermont College Cougars fastpitch softball team includes, front row from left, Brittany Neal, Abbie Bowmaster, Katie DePeel, Kaitlyn Harcourt, Jessica Conners, Jessica Drees, Amanda Zolnay, and Taylor MacDonald; row two, assistant coach Chris Kinney, Mel Vagedes, Sami Weber, Sarah Stratman, Alicia Watson, assistant coach Bob Drees, Amanda Carpenter, Allison Hibner, Megan Rossi, Jenny Bashore, and head coach Dan Kinney. The team is in serious contention for a berth in the national championship tournament that is been played this month.
The bad weather has been playing havoc with spring sports, ruining the scheduled attempts of the University of Cincinnati Clermont Cougars to play their fastpitch softball games.

The Red and Black has currently managed to get in just eight games, but the Clermont countians have won five of those outings that they did manage to get in.

In the Ohio Collegiate Athletic Association (OCAA), the Batavia based collegians are breaking even with their 2-2 record.

“The weather has really hurt us with trying to get all of our games played,” said Dan Kinney, head coach of the talented team.

“Our offense has been playing pretty good and the pitching has been good, but defensively we could be better. I thought we would be better, but we are a young team with a lot of inexperience and many of our errors have been mental because of the inexperience.

“To show we’re improving, one of our losses was to Clark State 3-1 and they are the defending conference champions.”

The Cougars have shown they have some power at the plate. Kaitlyn Harcourt, a graduate of Northeastern High, is hitting .516 and has two home runs and seven runs batted in and has scored 15 times. Mel Vegedes and Alicia Watson both have two home runs to their credit also.

Amanda Carpenter, a Glen Este high grad, is hitting .462 and Jessica Conners, along with her .424 average, has four doubles, 10 runs scored, and two stolen bases, Jenny Bashore is hitting .400 and has two three-baggers to her credit, Watson’s .382 hitting average includes 14 runs batted in, Abbie Bowmaster and Taylor McDonald are both hitting at a .375 pace with the former owning two stolen bases, Jessica Drees has four sacrifice hits, Vagedes three base thefts and 10 runs scored and Katie DePeel has driven in eight of her teammates.

On the mound, Drees owns a 2-1 record with a 1.50 earned run average in 28 inning pitched. She had struck out 28 adversaries and walked just one. Zolnay is 3-2 with a 2.68 earned run average and has earned one save. In 39 innings pitched she has whiffed 51 foes.

“We hope to knock off Clark State when we see them again. They’re a really tough team, a solid team. This time when we play them I think we’ll have eliminated the stupid errors that hurt us by gaining more experience … Southern State is a solid team, too. They have good pitching, but I believe we’re coming along since we have been improving.”

Clermont participates, nationally, in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. League affiliation-wise, the Cougars’ Ohio Collegiate Athletic Association consists of six other schools of higher education.

The other members of the conference consists of the Clark State Community College Eagles, the Ohio Christian University Trailblazers, the Ohio State University – Marion Scarlet Wave, the Southern State Community College Patriots, the Temple Baptist College Rams, and the World Harvest Bible College Warriors.


Ohio Christian University 7-2 and 7-4, Cedarville College 6-7 and 15-0, Miami-University – Hamilton 1-0 and 12-0, and Clark State Community College 1-3 and 1-6.


Amanda Carpenter, freshman first base and catcher, a graduate of Glen Este High School; Kaitlyn Harcourt, freshman third base and outfielder, a graduate of Clermont Northeastern High School; Brittany Neal, junior second base and third base, a graduate of Bethel-Tate High School; Megan Rossi, freshman outfielder and second base, a graduate of Bethel-Tate High School; Sami Weber, sophomore first base and outfielder, a graduate of Bethel-Tate High School; Jenny Bashore, freshman outfielder and shortstop, a Tippecanoe High School alumnae; Abbie Bowmaster, freshman catcher and second base, a Westerville Central High School alumnae; Jessica Conners, sophomore outfielder and catcher, an Oak Hills High School alumnae; Katie Depeel, freshman shortstop and second base, a Princeton High School alumnae; Jessica Drees, pitcher and third base, a Troy High School alumnae; Allison Hibner, senior first base and outfielder, a Vandalia Butler High School alumnae; Taylor MacDonald, senior second base and third base, a Fischer Catholic High School alumnae; Sarah Stratman, junior second base and third base, a Western Pike High School alumnae; Mel Vegedes, senior centerfielder and shortstop, a Tippecanoe High School alumnae; Alicia Watson, freshman first base and pitcher, an Oak Hills High School alumnae; and Amanda Zolnay senior pitcher and second base, a Cleveland Westlake High School alumnae.


The last remaining previously scheduled regularly season game was played Apr. 30 at Southern State Community College (doubleheader). All make-up games are expected to be played before any tournament competition takes place.

All home games were played on the Tealtown Fields in Union Township in Clermont County (site of the old Glen Este Speedway).