BUCKHANNON – West Virginia Wesleyan College and head softball coach Steve Warner is proud to announce Cortney Radke as the newest member of the Lady Bobcat softball coaching staff.
Following a successful playing career at the University of North Florida (UNF), the 2015 graduate spent the last year volunteering with the local high school, J.W. Mitchell in New Port Richey Fla., as a pitching coach and also has been working with the 14 and Under competitive travel ball team, the Tampa (Fla.) Mustangs.
Radke, originally from New Port Richey, Fla., said that is was coach Warner and his Lady Bobcat program that led to her decision to arrive at Wesleyan.
"I decided to come to West Virginia Wesleyan not only because of coach Warner's success with the program but because he and I share the same coaching philosophy and passion for the game," Radke remarked. "Coach Warner's drive to not only better these girls on the field but off the field also proved to me that he would show the same respect to me and teach me what I needed to know about the proper way to coach at the collegiate level."
The Lady Bobcats are coming off another banner season, coming up just one game just of making the NCAA Division II World Series last spring. They ended their year with a 54-11 record.
"Honestly stepping in to a program with this much success is slightly intimidating but I am not afraid of a challenge," Radke said. "I know what I was capable of as an athlete and I know what I could be capable of as a coach and I only plan to add to coach Warner's success and hopefully push it onward and upward."
"I think Cortney will fit right in with our program," coach Warner remarked. "She was a tremendous collegiate player and could have been even better if not for a few injuries, but I feel she will do a great job moving the program forward."
As a player at UNF, she was a four-year member of the Ospreys as a pitcher at the Division I school and ended her career as one of UNF's top pitchers. She is in the record books for top 10 leaders in: wins (38), appearances (108), shutouts (11), strikeouts (474), batter faced (2095).
In her senior year she had 31 appearances, recorded a 2.31 ERA in 118.1 innings. She tallied three complete-game shutouts against; Stetson, Troy and Middle Tennessee and also did not surrender a walk in 11 of her 31 appearances and held opponents to less than two hits in ten outings.
Her greatest accomplishments came in her freshman and junior years.
Her junior year in 2013 she assisted the pitching staff in having the Atlantic-Sun's lowest ERA of the season (1.97), which was ranked 19th nationally. The staff had seven straight shutouts and kept opponents scoreless for 54.1 innings. The team was named regular-season champions for the Atlantic-Sun conference. She also threw a no-hitter against Towson.
In her freshman year in 2011, she set multiple single season records, which included: strikeouts (310), innings pitched (268.2), appearances (49), games started (32) and completed games (27). She had a 2.37 ERA, recorded seven shutouts, fanned 10-or-more batters in eight games and pitched 17 strikeouts in seven innings of work at UCF.
In Radke's freshman debut she was two-time Pitcher of the Week, made the Atlantic-Sun All-Freshman Team and was Freshman of the Year.
Following graduation, she was recruited to play internationally in Auckland, New Zealand for a seven-month period. While in New Zealand, Radke was one of the top three pitchers in the Auckland division.
She ended her season abroad with an ERA of 0.53 in 80 innings of play, where she tallied 73 strikeouts. While in New Zealand she also coached a 17 and Under men's softball team, where two of her athletes made the 17 and Under National Team. One athlete made the 14 and Under National Team and was named MVP of the tournament.
Radke believes her past experiences will help be successful within the Lady Bobcat program.
"I bring a passion of the game," she concluded, "I have been in these girl's shoes, I have experienced it all from the ups and the downs, the winning and losing, the injuries and the recoveries, and nothing in this game has ever faltered my love for it. From a coaching standpoint I have coached at the high school level and internationally in New Zealand. I have pitching experience anywhere from varsity high school softball to Division I College to professionally in New Zealand. If there is one thing I can bring to this program out of everything I could offer, it would be to bring the love of the game back into the sport."