Coker Hall of Fame Inductee- October 1, 2011
The 1998 Coker softball team could easily be considered one of the greatest Cobra teams of all-time. With a record of 54-3, the Cobras won the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (CVAC) with a perfect 18-0 record, were the NCAA South Atlantic Region Champions and finished fifth in the nation after going 1-2 at the 1998 NCAA Division II Softball National Championship.
The Cobras started their season with a 38 game winning streak and their win-loss record of 54-3, not only stands as the best in Coker history, but set the NCAA record for winning percentage.
Individually, the Cobras had two All-Americans; Missy Paterson and Kelly Norris. Coach David Hanna was named conference coach of the year, while Missy Paterson was named conference player of the year and was a first team all-conference selection. Kelly Norris and Angela Williams were also first team selections, with Heather Sizemore, Amy Nestor and Santrese Jackson each receiving second team all-conference honors. Norris, Sizemore and Williams were CVAC All-Tournament Team selections as well and Paterson was named tournament MVP.
Santrese Jackson, Kelly Norris, Missy Paterson and Angela Williams earned All-Tournament honors at the South Atlantic Regional. Karen White was named to the National Championship All-Tournament team, as she hit .375 with two runs scored, including the game-winning run in Coker's 1-0 first round victory over Cal State Bakersfield.
Paterson led the nation in ’98 with a 0.41 ERA and 386 strikeouts. She had 23 consecutive victories on the mound and had 18 strikeouts in two games (Utica and Longwood). Williams was 13th in the nation in hits with 99 and as a team the Cobras led the nation with 9.3 strikeouts per game.
Paterson was named CVAC Female Athlete of the Year and in 2008 Norris, Williams and Paterson were all named to the All-Time CVAC Softball Team.