— Courtesy of Weatherford College
As the Weatherford College Coyotes contend for a national softball championship this season, they can turn to one of their own for what it will feel like should a title become a reality.
Sophomore catcher/designated hitter Kortney Koroll won a crown last year at Chattanooga (Tenn.) State Junior College.
“It was one of the best times of my life,” said Koroll, from St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. “Our team was so talented, and it all came together at the right time.”
So why leave a national champion?
“I was a DH and I wanted to play behind the plate again,” said Koroll. “They were looking for a catcher at Weatherford, and I wanted a starting spot.”
Koroll’s coach also left after winning the national championship, taking a job at East Carolina. The coach’s exit, combined with her desire to play behind the plate, led Koroll to Texas, the farthest south she’s ever been in her life.
“It was an adjustment,” she said, with a chuckle. “I played summer ball in Buffalo [NY], and that’s about as far as I’d come before going to college.
“When transferring, I thought it would be difficult, but I like to travel and meet new people, and softball has allowed me to do that. But this all expanded my horizons, you might say.”
Koroll had to make another adjustment after coming to WC. Shortly after her arrival, Coyote coach Dottie Cupp left the team, Koroll’s second coach in as many seasons to say farewell.
“It’s just something you have to adjust to,” Koroll said. “It could have gone either way after she left, but it worked out in a great way.
“But yeah, that was kind of ironic.”
Koroll and her teammates easily made the transition to interim head coach Haylee Williams, along with the move of Chris Flanagan from assistant baseball coach to assistant softball coach. The Coyotes ended the regular season with a 45-6 record, the top spot in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference with a 28-4 record and a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament — all in only the second year of the program.
“I’ve thought a lot about the possibility of winning double titles and how cool that would be,” Koroll said, “and this team has the talent to do it.”
After this season, Koroll will move to yet another school to play softball and continue her degree in special needs education while attending Texas State University.
“I love it here. I’m staying in Texas for at least two more years,” she said. “Including summer classes.”