Ed Wilkerson reached a coaching milestone a week ago.
When Allen County Community College’s Red Devil softball team defeated Labette Community College 2-0 in Parsons on March 9, the Red Devils handed their head coach his 400th career win.
“I’ve had a lot of great players and very good assistant coaches along the way that helped me get those 400 wins. They are why I have reached that mark,” Wilkerson said.
Right now, the Red Devils are 11-11 overall and that puts Wilkerson at 404 wins, 458 losses for his career. Wilkerson’s Allen County teams have posted an 89-107 mark. He is in his fourth season as head coach.
He began coaching college softball in 1996 at Pratt Community College (173-121). After five years at Pratt, Wilkerson spent the next five coaching softball at Fort Hays State University (142-130).
On Tuesday, Allen County will recognize Wilkerson before the Red Devils’ Jayhawk Eastern Division doubleheader with Kansas City, Kan., Community College. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. at ACCC softball field.
“What I remember about the 400th win was that it was a tight game, we were on the road and it was the last inning. The tying and winning runs were on base,” Wilkerson said of the 2-0 win over Labette.
“Everyone was on the edge of the dugout pulling for our pitcher and our defense to get the final outs. We did.”
Wilkerson said he really hadn’t thought that much about the 400th win prior to its occurrence. His wife, Sandy, mentioned to him that he was close and then again when he was three wins away from the milestone.
Allen County has a doubleheader Friday at home against Hutchinson Community College. The Red Devils are 5-1 in Jayhawk Eastern Division play. The action starts at 1 p.m.
The Red Devils held off Hutchinson last weekend, 5-4, during the Midwest Classic at Broken Bow, Okla. Allen County went 3-3 in the event.
Western Oklahoma 6, Allen County 1. Allen County’s lone run came in the fourth inning on the only hit of the game for the Red Devils — a solo home run by Jenna Sigg. Lenzie Boring took the pitching loss, allowing six runs on 11 hits and one walk with two strikeouts in five innings. Amy McAfee pitched one inning, walked two and struck out one.
Allen County 5, Hutchinson 4. Brianne Campbell was the winning pitcher, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up four runs on nine hits and striking out three. McAfee came in with one out in the bottom of the seven, gave up two hits but no runs.
Allen County scored three runs in the fifth — two on a double by Lamle. She then stole home for the third. Jori Graf singled with one out in the sixth and scored on a double by Dillow to put ACCC up 5-2.
Hutchinson scored two runs in the seventh on five hits and had two on. A runner was tagged out at the plate then a ground-out ended the game.
Dillow had a single and a double and Lamle hit a double. Hitting a single each were Amy Carr, Shawna Blakesley, Denise Swanson and Graf.
Northeastern Oklahoma 1, Allen County 0. The only run came on a solo home run for NEO in the fifth. Boring took the loss on the mound, allowing five hits and striking out three. Dillow, Boring and Blakesley each had a base hit.
Cowley County 5, ACCC 4. The Red Devils were down 5-1 and scored three runs in the fourth. Sigg had a solo home run in the first. She reached on an error in the fourth and Lamle, who also had a double, cranked out a two-run home run. Blakesley tripled and scored on an error. Other hits for ACCC were a single each by Dillow and Kelci Owens, and a double by Swanson.
ACCC 6, Barton County 5 (8 innings). Sigg hit her third solo home run of the tournament in the sixth to tie the game at 4-4, which is where it stood at the end of seven innings. Carr was put at second as per tie-breaker rule to start the eighth.
Sigg’s sacrifice bunt moved Carr to third and Lamle had an RBI single. With Owens running for Lamle, Blakesley had a two-out single then Callie Umholtz drove in the run on a base hit. Barton County was able to score a run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth but the Red Devils worked out of trouble to retire the Cougars.
McAfee won in relief of Campbell. McAfee pitched four innings, allowing one runs on six hits and one walk with a strikeout. Campbell went four innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits.
Blakesley was 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles and a double. Sigg had a single and a home run. Lamle and Brandie Hutcheson had two singles each. Dillow, Umholtz and Graf each had a single.
ACCC 5, Carl Albert 4 (8 innings). It came down to another eighth inning for ACCC. Sigg was on at second, Blakesley reached on a one-out error then with two gone, Swanson singled in the winning run.
Boring was the winning pitcher, allowing 11 hits and two walks and striking out four. Swanson had a single and a double while Dillow and Blakesley each had two singles. Sigg and Owens each had a base hit.
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