Rock Valley College
Rockford, Illinois

2014 National Championship

RVC Head Softball Coach Darin Monroe picked up his 100th win at RVC in a thrilling 8-7 victory over the College of DuPage in a do-or-die Region IV championship game on May 3, 2014. But it would be his next four career victories that would seal his and his team's place in RVC history.

After getting a taste of the national spotlight in the 2013 season and finishing sixth at the NJCAA tournament, Monroe and his 2014 team had only one thing in mind: a national championship. 

It would not come without some drama.

In the opening round game of the NJCAA tournament, the third seeded Golden Eagles had to face the tournament host, sixth seeded Rochester Community and Technical College. RVC appeared to be cruising along and led 3-0 after four innings, but Callina Rockey was tagged for seven earned runs in the top of the fifth and suddenly the Golden Eagles were trailing 7-3. RVC began to claw back in it with a two-run sixth inning and would be behind 7-5 going into the bottom of the seventh.

Danielle Walker led off the inning with a single, followed by a Kaytee Keefe double that plated Walker and a Breanna Baer double that scored Keefe. All of a sudden the game was tied, 7-7. A Hannah Anderson ground ball to short stop was misplayed. Anderson reached on an error and Baer moved to third. Kaitlyn Appleman completed the amazing rally with a game-winning single for an 8-7 RVC win.

The momentum had shifted.

Amanda Blankenship would take it from there.

In RVC's second round game against defending national champion Herkimer County Community College, the Golden Eagles plated a run in the top of the first and that was all Blankenship would need. She pitched a complete game shutout, working seven innings and allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out 11. RVC picked up an extra run in the sixth and went on to a 2-0 victory.

The next hurdle for the Golden Eagles would be the #1 seed Brookdale Community College. But the top seed of this tournament would also be no match for Blankenship. In a game where you could have left after the second inning as all the runs either team would score would be scored in the second inning, Blankenship again dazzled. This time she allowed one unearned run on four hits over seven innings with just one walk and 10 strikeouts. 

In the NJCAA championship game, a rematch with defending champion Herkimer awaited. This time the Golden Eagles got all of the runs they would need in the bottom of the first inning. RVC rode a two-run first inning all the way to the College's first ever NJCAA championship for softball. Blankenship again was dominant. She allowed one earned run on four hits with just one walk and nine strikeouts in seven innings pitched.

For the tournament Blankenship finished 4-0 with a 0.30 ERA with just three walks and 34 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings pitched to claim tournament MVP and Pitcher of the Tournament honors.

The Golden Eagles finished a remarkable season with a national championship and a program single-season record 42 wins.

 

Awards

 

Amanda BlankenshipAmanda Blankenship
  • All-conference (MVP)
  • All-region (1st team)
  • NJCAA Tournament MVP & Pitcher of the Tournament
  • NJCAA All-American (1st team)
  • Dudley® NJCAA Division III Pitcher of the Year 
  • National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NJCAA Division III All-American
Hannah AndersonHannah Anderson
  • Region IV All-tournament Team
Kaitlyn ApplemanKaitlyn Appleman
  • NJCAA All-tournament Team
Ashley BrantAshley Brant
  • All-conference (2nd team)
  • All-region (2nd team)
Kaytee KeefeKaytee Keefe
  • All-region (1st team)
  • NJCAA All-tournament Team
  • NJCAA All-American (2nd team)
  • National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NJCAA Division III All-American
Haley LoveHaley Love
  • All-conference (1st team)
  • Region IV All-tournament Team
  • NJCAA All-tournament Team
  • National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NJCAA Division III All-American (At-Large)
Katie MeyerKatie Meyer
  • All-conference (2nd team)
  • All-region (2nd team)
  • Region IV All-tournament Team
  • National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NJCAA Division III All-American
Callina RockeyCallina Rockey
  • All-conference (2nd team)
  • Region IV All-tournament Team
Danielle WalkerDanielle Walker
  • All-conference (1st team)
  • All-region (1st team)
  • NJCAA All-tournament Team
  • NJCAA All-American (1st team)
  • 2014 NJCAA Softball Marucci Elite Hitter (NJCAA Division III, District G)
  • National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NJCAA Division III All-American
Darin MonroeDarin Monroe
  • Region IV Coach of the Year
  • N4C Coach of the Year
  • NJCAA Tournament Coach of the Tournament




Golden Eagles Softball
 
Blankenship-MVP
 
Tatianna-Reyes
 
Darin-Monroe
 

Season Leaders

Batting Average
Danielle Walker, .503
Home Runs
Danielle Walker, 10
RBI
Danielle Walker, 82
Runs
Danielle Walker, 63
Stolen Bases
Ashley Brant, 33
Wins
Amanda Blankenship, 21
ERA
Amanda Blankenship, 1.97
Strikeouts
Amanda Blankenship, 241




2014 RVC Softball- NJCAA National Champs!