(5-3-17) The past week in Illinois High School softball there have been some very, very memorable moments created.
St. Joseph-Ogden Head Softball Coach Randy Wolken won his 1,000th career game Thursday afternoon (April 27th), beating St. Thomas More 15-0 in five innings.
Yesterday (5-2-17) saw Elk Grove Head Softball Coach Ken Grams pick up his 900th career win in a 15-1 win over Hoffman Estates. Both are the top two coaches in career Illinois softball wins.
How they did it:
Wolken won his 1,000th career game (4-27-17), beating St. Thomas More 15-0 in five innings. Three pitchers combined for a no-hitter and Andrea Coursey hit a home run for the Spartans. SJ-O batted around, scoring eight runs in the first inning and never looking back.
Grams 900th win came when Kylie Thomsen threw a 2-hitter with 6 strikeouts as the Grenadiers beat visiting Hoffman Estates 15-1 in five innings.
Randy Wolken told WCIA-TV:
“One-thousand seems just like a huge number, but it doesn’t seem like that much to me. I guess because it’s been fun. With my wife supporting me all these years, and my family, it’s been really nice. So it means a lot to me for everybody to come out and support us. Feels good to be at 1,000, though. I will say that.”
Ken Grams told the Daily Herald:
“To be honest I’ve wanted to keep doing this as long as I feel like I can communicate. As I get older, I feel to a degree I can still talk their language and get them to understand and appreciate the finer parts of the game. And that makes me feel good because I’m a guy who spends hours watching baseball on TV and I feel there are so many little things to the game and that’s what I’m trying to get across.”‘
How do the two all-time Illinois leaders rank all-time in the US?
Record Holder State Data
- 2,053 Larry Niemeyer IA (Cedar Rapids Jefferson), 1958-2011 (2,053-423)
- 1,153 Jim Brown AL (Hoover), 1991-2011 (1,153-239-1)
- 1,116 Dennis Johnson IA (Eldridge North Scott), 1975-2001; 2006-2011 (1,116-249)
- 1,030 Diane Laffey MI (Harper Woods Regina), 1963-2011 (1,030-375-3)
- 1,012 Steve Saladino IA (Davenport West), 1982-2011 (1,012-448)
- 1,000 *Randy Wolken ILL (St. Joseph-Ogden), 1980-2017
- 952 Gary Adams SC (Iva Crescent), 1977-2011 (852-115)
- 927 Brad Walraven MI (Bay City All Saints), 1980-2011 (927-301-1)
- 926 Tom Kennelly MI (Saginaw Swan Valley), 1980-2011 (926-243)
- 922 Joe Alsup MI (Waterford Township, MI; Waterford Mott, MI; Waterford Kettering, MI; White Lake Lakeland, MI), 1975-92, 1998-2011 (922-188)
- 900 *Ken Grams ILL (Elk Grove) (1980-2017)
Pretty impressive careers and still going strong for Wolken and Grams.
— WCIA 3 Sports (@WCIA3sports) April 28, 2017
In the beginning…