Head Softball Coach Henry Christowski marked his 400th win at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. Sophomore Whitney Oviatt threw her first career no-hitter to give Christowski the victory over Marietta College.
Played on March 10, the 14-0 victory was the first game of the day. Oviatt was an error and a walk away from a perfect game. Christowski, in his 13th season as head coach, was aware he would reach his 400th win in Florida.
“I knew it was going to happen while we were down there; I was hoping it would because that meant we would win some games,” Christowski said. “It’s a milestone and it’s nice to have those. I’d kind of like to record the 500th win, that would be a little more significant, but I’ll have to wait a while to get that.”
Christowski was just pleased with the win and the team’s performances.
“To be honest, a win is just as important to me as the 400th one,” Christowski said. “I’ve never felt it was about me, I’ve always felt it was about the team.”
Oviatt was unaware of the no-hitter and 400th win until later, but was happy to be involved.
“I didn’t realize I had pitched a no-hitter until sometime told me after the game,” Oviatt said. “Coach C has never been one to make a big deal about his success, but it was exciting to be part of the accomplishment. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
The 400th win only adds to the list of accomplishments for Christowski. He has a compiled record of 407-106-2. He has won four Division III regional titles, four Iowa Conference championships, and two National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III National Championships. Christowski was also inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December 2007. Being inducted is the highest honor of the NFCA.
Christowski says measuring success eventually comes down to wins and losses and doesn’t take anything else into account, he hopes Simpson has been satisfied.
“I’d just like to feel that what I’ve done here at Simpson has been acceptable to Simpson,” Christowski said. “I’ve been satisfied with it so hopefully they have.”
Playing softball is Christowski’s highlight of the year, and his favorite part of coaching is the team.
“The thing I like best is the quality of the young ladies I get to coach,” Christowski said. “I’ve had some fantastic individuals come through the program and I’ve got some fantastic ones right now. It’s refreshing and it keeps me young dealing with these individuals.”
Sophomore Amanda Esdohr says Christowski is worthy of the 400th win because of his commitment.
“Coach C is deserving because he is dedicated and passionate about softball,” Esdohr said. “If you are struggling with something or want extra help with softball, he will find time to have one-on-one attention to help you get better. He will never tell you no.”
Freshman Kelsey Knutson says Christowski’s love for the game contributes to his success.
“He loves the game and it shows every day at practice and at every game,” Knutson said. “His love for softball is contagious and it really makes the game fun.”
He’s a great coach.”