Mueller racks up 1100th career victory
Becomes only 2nd coach in NJCAA Softball history to hit plateau
Phoenix College is proud to announce that PC Head Softball Coach Heinz Mueller officially recorded his 1100th career NJCAA Softball victory Thursday afternoon. He and his PC Bears’ Softball team achieved the feat with a 7-2 win over Scottsdale in Game 2 of their ACCAC Softball doubleheader today at Scottsdale Community College. Mueller is just the second head coach in NJCAA Softball history to hit the 1100-win mark, following the lead of current Florida State College of Jacksonville Head Softball Coach Jami Lind, who hit the 1100-win mark early in the 2013 season, and only led Mueller by 47 career wins going into the day.
It continues to be a two-year stretch of accolades for the 24-year leader of the Bears’ Softball program-although for Mueller, the individual achievements pale in comparison to the accomplishments of his players and his program overall. It was almost two years to the day that Mueller notched his 1000th career win on March 17th, 2012 against Yavapai College. Since then, he and his program have won a pair of Region I Division II titles (their 11th & 12th since 2000), reached the NJCAA Division II Softball Championship Game twice, and won the 2012 national title (their 8th national championship under Mueller). Along the way, Mueller was named the 2012 NJCAA Softball Coach of the Year, and then within a four-month stretch this past summer and fall, was inducted into both the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Softball Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame and Arizona Softball Foundation Hall of Fame.
The 3rd-ranked Bears earned today’s historic victory by shaking off the disappointment of uncharacteristically giving away the sweep of the twin bill with the 9th-ranked Artichokes. The Bears took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the 6th inning of Game 1 - thanks in part to home runs by Kelli Wickerman & Cassie Roessing. However, the Artichokes fought back for the win by scoring four runs in the final two innings on four PC errors and four SCC singles-the final one off the bat of the Artichokes’ Amanda Frank that scored pinch-runner Vanessa Flores in the 7thfor a 5-4 SCC win. Undeterred, the Bears came out firing in the nightcap, taking a 2-0 lead in their first inning thanks to an RBI triple by Elms (to score Roessing from 1st base) and an RBI single by Wickerman to plate Elms. The Artichokes cut the deficit in half in the 4th inning on a 2-out RBI single by Rayven Cannon. This time, however, the Bears emphatically made sure there would be no Artichokes’ comeback - thanks due to the burgeoning Bears’ power. PC’s Molly Stern led off the top of the 5th with a solo home run to left center, and then the Bears put it out of reach as Roessing, Elms & Wickerman hit back-to-back-to-back solo bombs in the 6th, eventually scoring another run in the 7th to finish off the 7-2 victory. The Bears finished with 6 home runs on the day, giving them a total of 14 in the last 2 doubleheaders combined.
The Bears look to finish out this seven-game road swing with a trio of non-conference games (against three Texas teams) this Saturday at the Deanna Mauer Classic in Casa Grande, then will return home to get ready for their next home matchup. That happens next Tuesday, March 18th, when Mueller will lead his team into battle against Lake Region State College from North Dakota. First pitch is scheduled for 1PM at the Bears’ Softball Field on the PC campus (1202 West Thomas Road in Phoenix), and admission prices are as follows: $5 for adults; $3 for students with a valid ID; and kids 12 and under get in FREE.