Home > Community, Sports > Softball coaches from OU and OSU speak at Sports Museum honoring Sports Historian of the Year

Softball coaches from OU and OSU speak at Sports Museum honoring Sports Historian of the Year

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By Darl DeVault
Special to Guthrie News Page

Softball coaches Melyssa Lombardi of defending national champion OU and Rich Wieligman of OSU spoke Thursday at a Guthrie luncheon presenting the Oklahoma Sports Historian of the Year Award. Presented by the Territorial Capital Sports Museum and sponsored by John Vance Motor Group, the awards were presented at the museum to authors Larry C. Floyd and Bill Plummer III for their 2013 book, A Series of Their Own. It chronicles the first 44 years of the Women’s College World Series.

Sports Historian

Left to right: Bill Plummer III, Melyssa Lombardi, Rich Wieligman and Larry C. Floyd

“Our college coaches were gracious to lend their support to the topic of our first Oklahoma Sports Historian of the Year award to help us honor these two authors,” said Richard Hendricks, executive director of the Territorial Capital Sports Museum, formerly the Oklahoma Sports Museum. “We are proud to recognize Larry Floyd and Bill Plummer for their great service to Oklahoma’s rich athletic heritage by researching and writing about the amazing growth of women’s college softball.”

A Series of Their Own narrates each of the national championships back to the first in Omaha in 1969. It guides readers through the tourneys up to the 2012 NCAA Division I National Championship won by Alabama, in competition now centered each year at the Women’s College World Series at Oklahoma City ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The book is written within the framework of how changing social attitudes toward women as competitive athletes and funding from federal Title IX legislation combined to promote college softball and its national championship.

Lombardi, associate head coach at OU, spoke of the quiet confidence their eventual national championship team showed throughout last season, attributing that to a resolve created by coming so close to the championship the year before. She went on to express appreciation for the author’s efforts on behalf of women college softball.

“A Series of Their Own really gives the true softball fans out there a history of the Women’s College World Series from its start in 1969 and from there how far the sport has come,” Lombardi said. “For Bill and Larry to put all that in a book for avid fans to read and get a true understanding of how far the World Series has come, what Title XI has done for women’s sports, is phenomenal.”

Wieligman, head coach at OSU, recognized retired coach Gerry Pinkston in the audience during his remarks. Pinkston, 22-year softball coach at the University of Central Oklahoma, was the school’s volleyball coach for seven years as well.

“To have it all in one book, from the beginning to now, I think it is important for the all the athletes who played in it and all the people who have been a part of it can see their legacy as the sport’s heritage,” Wieligman said. “You know these authors will update this book eventually and that is something that will drive these young athletes to be in that book as well.”

Categories: Community, Sports
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