Tomahawks Home: Others College Bound

Sunday, May 22
Michelle Craddick To Attend Saint Louis University

Not  everyone who plays for the Tomahawks (or any other team) goes on to play college softball.  Often times they elect to give up softball to pursue other career dreams.  Such is the case for Michelle Craddick, the daughter of Anna and Bob Craddick of O'Fallon.  As a member of the O'Fallon Township High School 2011 graduating class, she has elected to pursue a degree in Medicine at Saint Louis University.

Michelle is a straight A student, member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, President of SADD, former officer of the Spanish Club, Lifesavers and InterAct, Member of the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine, and an Illinois State Scholar.

Michelle was a charter member of the Tomahawks organization, playing two full years on the 16U team.  During those two years, the team won over 100 games, attended ASA Class A Northern Nationals twice, and finished 13th out of 64 teams in 2009.

As the youngest and last player chosen for the original Tomahawks team, Michelle soon proved her worth to the team.   As the starting first basemen, Michelle set the gold standard for future Tomahawk first basemen to strive towards.  Her incredible focus and passion for the game were unsurpassed.  Aside from her superior defensive skills, her communication skills served as a constant reminder of game situations to her teammates. Even though she was injured and unable to play almost the entire 2009 summer season (her last as a member of the Tomahawks), that did not keep her from attending every game and continuing her vocal leadership.  Michelle was a true team player and a huge part of the success the team enjoyed during her time as a member.

At her final Tomahawks award banquet following the 2008-2009 season Michelle was recognized for her contributions to the team with the "Leadership" award.

I am so very proud of having been her coach and wish her all the best.



Wednesday, May 18
Kendra Schipkowski Headed To Southeast Missouri State

Kendra Schipkowski is the daughter of Tami (Rezabek) Ufert of Edwardsville and Brett Schipkowski of Waterloo. After graduating from Edwardsville High School as an Illinois State Scholar after the first semester of her senior year, Kendra is currently attending Lewis and Clark community college and working 2 jobs this spring and summer. She will then be attending Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Missouri where she earned a Regent's Scholarship which recognizes outstanding academic achievement. Kendra plans to pursue a degree in Business.

Kendra joined the team for the fall 2009 season where she quickly asserted herself with her speed and superb base running skills. As the second batter in the lineup that fall, she was instrumental in forming a high scoring offense that continually pressured opposing defenses into creating errors.

Her play was instrumental in developing an aggressive culture that enabled the team to go 29-17 during the summer of 2010. Aside from her success on the field, Kendra was a true team player and a huge part of the success the team enjoyed during her time on the team.

Her efforts also contributed to our success in raising almost $2500 which we donated to Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and the Make-A-Wish foundation.

In recognition of her many contributions to the team, the coaching staff recognized Kendra with the "Most Focused Award" at our post season awards banquet.

I am so very proud of having been her coach and wish her all the best.



Wednesday, May 4
Mallory Milner Headed to Murray State University

Not everyone who plays for the Tomahawks (or any other team) goes on to play college softball, often times they elect to give up softball to pursue other career dreams. Such is the case for Mallory Milner, the daughter of Lynnette and DuWayne Milner of Edwardsville. Mallory has elected to forego the opportunity to play college ball and pursue a degree in Occupational Safety and Health at Murray State in Kentucky.

As a new member of the team, Mallory was quick to demonstrate her natural leadership abilities both on and off the field. When the team elected to take on a couple of community service fundraising campaigns, she was quick to volunteer her efforts to create designs to promote our involvement. Her efforts were directly responsible to our success in raising almost $2500 which we donated to Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and the Make-A-Wish foundation.

She was the ideal number two hitter in the batting order where she led the team in sacrifices with 9 and had the fewest number of strikeouts (4). She topped that with the third highest batting average (.348). Despite her amazing offensive accomplishments, her greatest contribution to the team was easily her dynamic play at third base. Time after time, we would have the pitchers throw the ball inside to force the batter to hit it to Mallory/ we wanted the ball in her hands.

I'm most proud of Mallory because of the intangibles she brought to the team. As a natural leader, her passion for the game inspired her teammates to play their best. Even as she endured an injury that forced her to the dugout in the middle of the summer season, she continued to encourage her teammates.

In recognition of her many contributions to the team, Mallory was selected as our "Most Competitive Player" at our post season awards banquet.

I am so very proud of having been her coach and wish her all the best.



Wednesday, May 4
Danielle Rolla Headed Off To College

Not everyone who plays for the Tomahawks (or any other team) goes on to play college softball, often times they elect to give up softball to pursue other career dreams. Such is the case of Danielle Rolla, a charter member of the Tomahawks who played two years with the team. She is the daughter of Chris and Leanna Rolla of O'Fallon, and twin sister to Kristin Rolla. Both started practically every game and played integral roles. Both possessed outstanding speed and strong arms and were very good outfielders.  Kristin decided to play softball at Webster University in St. Louis, MO (see her info here).

When Danielle first joined the Tomahawks, she had always batted from the right and always played outfield. Not only did I ask her to switch over and become a slapper from the left, she was also asked to play infield (second base) for the first time in her career. Her speed, incredible range, and strong arm enabled her to play second base like no one who had every played for me. She was recognized by the coaching staff as our "Best Defensive Player" during our final awards banquet. Quite an accomplishment for someone who had to learn the position out of necessity and who played on a team that became known more for it's defense than anything else.

Danielle will be attending Lindenwood University in St. Louis, MO pursuing a degree in Fashion Design.

I am so very proud of having been her coach and wish her all the best.



Wednesday, May 4
Maddie Borchers Headed To Campbellsville University

Not everyone who plays for the Tomahawks (or any other team) goes on to play college softball, often times they elect to give up softball to pursue other career dreams. Such is the case of Maddie Borchers, one of the charter members of the Tomahawks who played two years with the team. She is the daughter of Scott and Karen Borchers of O'Fallon. She started pretty much every game and played an integral role. She possessed outstanding speed, a strong arm, and was a very good outfielder.

The team won over 100 games during those two years, attended ASA Class A Northern Nationals twice, and finished 13th out of 64 teams in 2009.

Maddie is a freshman at Campbellsville University in Kentucky where she is working towards a degree in chemistry.

I am so very proud to have been her coach and wish her nothing but the very best.



Monday, May 2
Krista Miller to pursue a Graphics Designs degree at Southeast Missouri State

Not everyone who plays for the Tomahawks (or any other team) goes on to play college softball. Often times they elect to give up softball to pursue other career dreams. Such is the case for Krista Miller, the daughter of Susi and Ken Miller of Edwardsville. She has elected to pursue a degree in Graphic Designs at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Krista chose to apply the same work ethics and dedication she had in softball to her art talents. As a result, already this year Krista won the "Jurors Award" in the SIUE High School Exhibition, she is displaying an original art piece at the newly opened Edwardsville Art Center, was awarded the Fine Arts Scholarship and will be displaying an art piece again in the High School exhibit at Belleville's Art on the Square. Besides excelling in the classroom, Krista was also heavily involved with her church youth group and Girl Scouts.

As for her softball exploits, defense wins ball games and every position on the field is crucial to the success any team enjoys. Any pitcher will tell you they love having a good defense to bail them out from time to time. She will also pitch much better if she has confidence in the teammate behind the plate.

As the starting catcher, that was where Krista excelled. She earned the starting role soon after joining the team in the fall of 2009. Her play behind the plate was instrumental in helping form a defense that enabled her team to go 29-17 during the summer of 2010.

In recognition of her many contributions to the team, the coaching staff recognized Krista as the "Best Defensive Player" at the team's post season awards banquet.