Coach Kmak Reaches 400 Career Wins

The University of Chicago softball team was able to help their coach achieve an incredible milestone this week: 400 career wins.

By Alyssa Rudin

The Maroon softball team enjoyed sweeps against North Park University in their home opener games this week. The team was dominant in both games, earning head coach Ruth Kmak an exciting milestone—her 400th career win.  

In the first game, the Chicago offense absolutely could not be contained. The Vikings took a four run lead at the top of the first, but they didn’t hold onto that for very long. In the bottom of the first, second-year lead-off hitter Emma Nelson hit a quick homer to get the team rolling, and third-year Serena Moss and first-year Skye Collins batted in runners to tie the game back up. From then on, the South Siders dominated. Second-year Holli Jones and first-year Abby Hayes batted in three more runs for the Maroons in the second inning. Hayes earned another RBI in the fourth, and third-year Maeve Garvey consolidated the lead for good with a home run that brought in two on-base players as well.  

The game ended in a humorous fashion as the North Park catcher attempted to pick off second-year Christie Ambrose, but the throw bounced off of third-year Serena Moss’ helmet, allowing Ambrose to score the twelfth and final run for the Maroons. Fourth-year pitcher Molly Moran earned the start and the win with six strikeouts and four earned runs. The Maroons took home their first victory of the day winning 12–4.  

Game two was another successful performance for Chicago, although they did not run away with the game quite as distinctly as they did in the first game of the day. Collins’s hot bat went at it again in the second, earning her first collegiate home run. North Park battled to tie things up in the top of the fourth, but the Maroons snatched the momentum back with a three run fifth, with Hayes, Moss, and Garvey all recording RBI. Garvey earned a final RBI in the sixth to reach eight Maroon runs. The Vikings once again tried and failed to come back as second-year Megan Stoppelman held them off in relief. Third-year pitcher Jordyne Prussak earned her fifth win of the season and maintained her perfect record while giving up just one earned run in the game. The game ended with a winning score of 8–4. These two games were very meaningful for the team as they got to be present for their coach’s 400th career win.  

“The fact that we got to celebrate coach Kmak’s 400th win of her coaching career is very special,” said Moss. “We actually made her a poster and brought her cupcakes to practice yesterday, and she seemed super appreciative. While that was just a very small token of our gratitude, words/actions cannot even begin to describe how grateful I and my teammates are to have her as our coach. Coach Kmak puts her heart and soul into this program, and the fact that we got the chance to celebrate one of the many instances of her hard work paying off is super awesome—especially for the upperclassmen who are now going on their third or fourth season with her.”