OTTUMWA – Olivia Roark, Sammy Garrett, Paige Schreiner, Nicole Peyton and Mandi Moore were all just Ottumwa softball sophomores almost three years ago.
Garrett had a double and homer, drove in two runs and scored twice. Schreiner had three hits and scored three times. So did Roark, including a game winner. Nicole Peyton went 2-2 at the plate in game two while Moore, she earned her 17th pitching win of that season in that game with three innings of three-hit softball.
All four players certainly played a role in helping their head coach, Frank Huston, achieve a career milestone victory 1,600 in his 2,000th career game. All four were on hand again almost three years to the day for a night they were all very familiar with.
Garrett, Roark, Schreiner and Moore were on hand again almost three years to the date of the milestone night in 2011 to watch their legendary head coach reach a new milestone. With a new group of Bulldog softball players leading the way, Huston earned his 1,700th career win Thursday in a game-one win over Des Moines Hoover, the same team Huston won his 1,600th game against on July 5, 2011.
“It’s a little sad not to be a part of it,” Roark, who scored twice in win No. 1600, said. “We still miss it so much.”
“I think we took a lot of pride in it at the same time,” Garrett, who had her two big extra-base hits in the milestone victory, added. “We’re proud as former players that we could help Frank get to 1,700.”
For Huston, Thursday’s milestone win was made just as special by the fact that several former players were on hand to take part in the celebration.
“It’s a special thing to see those players want to come back here. They’re always going to be a part of this program,” Huston said. “That’s what makes something like 1,700 wins happen. It’s about the great people that have played for the program, the great coaches and the great parents that have been a big part of these past 47 years of success for me.”