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CHS gets results on diamond
June 19, 2007

Jason Sibert
Collinsville Herald
June 16, 2007

First-year Collinsville Kahok softball coach Cindy Kolda had a year defined by success.

Under Kolda's leadership, the Kahoks had a winning record (17-11) and won their second consecutive regional championship. Collinsville defeated Triad 4-0 in the championship game of the Collinsville Class AA Regional on May 26.

"I learned a lot this year," Kolda said. "But I also had a very good group of girls."

The 17-11 record gives Collinsville its fourth straight winning season.

"We have a very tough schedule," Kolda said. "But winning will help promote this program, and it will keep kids interested in softball."

Belleville East defeated Collinsville 1-0 in the Belleville West Sectional semifinal. The Kahoks defeated Belleville East 1-0 in a Southwestern Conference contest on April 26.

"That was a win (Belleville East) that showed the girls how good they could be," Kolda said. "The girls were tense when those types of games come up. In that game, everyone was loose. We can compete and beat those types of teams."

When asked about the postseason success, Kolda said her team "expected to win a regional."

"It was exciting to be able to do that (win a regional) in my first year," she said. "They went into that regional and they knew what they had to do."

Collinsville loses five seniors this year: Lindsay Dill, Kat Dortch, Rachel Hartman, Brittany Klein and Trina Simpson.

"My seniors had real leadership skills and commitment," she said. "They took every loss as personal as I did."

The Kahoks will return four juniors: pitcher Lauren Popov, catcher Laura Molinar, Natalie Malawy and Cindy Duff.

"It will help to have my pitcher and catcher back," Kolda said. "Molinar, her stats really don't say anything about how well she can hit. Lauren Popov has great leadership skills, and Natalie Malawy can slap or bunt."

Southwestern Conference coaches voted Popov onto the first team of the all-conference team. She compiled a 14-9 record and a 0.40 ERA. Dortch, an outfielder who hit .333, also made the first team of the conference. Hartman, a catcher who led her team's offense with a .387 batting average with 75 at-bats, made the second team of the conference. Malawy, an outfielder, made the third team of the conference.

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