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1974 National Softball champions return to SMS


In 1974, the SMS softball team won the Division 1 National Championship. The team and their coach took part in reunion activities at SMSU Friday April 16th and Saturday April 17th. Mike Smith has the story:

At 7 o'clock tonight, (April 16) the SMS Softball program and Head Coach Holly Hesse, will recognize the 30 th anniversary of the 1974 SMS Softball Bears Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (A.I.A.W.) Division I national championship team with a reunion banquet at the Plaster Student Union Ballroom. Eleven members of the team, along with Head Coach Kay Hunter plan to attend the banquet and two additional reunion events this weekend.

The 1974 team won 19 of 23 games in the regular season and went on to claim the national title with 5 straight wins in the AIAW World Series in Omaha. Coach Kay Hunter says team spirit was the key to success that year.

In its championship run at the World Series, SMS defeated Massachusetts 11-1, beat Luther in extra innings 1-0,

edged Eastern Illinois 9-8, downed Wayne State 8-5, and then beat Northern Colorado 14-7 in the title game.

Coach Kay Hunter says the weather was an opponent too as rain forced a change from double to single elimination competition, and a change in the tournament location.

Hunter began coaching the Bears in 1972, and through 1980 led the team to six AIAW national top 10 finishes.

Hunter was inducted in to the SMS Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982.

For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.