Southeast Missouri State softball coach Lana Richmond has reached another career milestone.
Thursday's 3-2, nine-inning win over host SIU-Edwardsville in the opener of a nonconference doubleheader was Richmond's 800th softball victory at Southeast.
A 3-2 loss in Thursday's nightcap leaves Richmond with a 28-year record of 800-577-2. She is the 42nd softball coach in NCAA history (all divisions) to reach 800 wins and ranks 18th among active Division I softball coaches in victories.
Richmond is the winningest softball coach in Ohio Valley Conference history and the winningest coach in Southeast history for any sport.
"I've been blessed to have a lot of tremendous athletes," Richmond said while traveling with her team back to Cape Girardeau following Thursday's games.
Richmond actually has more than 1,000 collegiate victories at Southeast. She compiled a 203-91 record in seven seasons as volleyball coach from 1982 to 1988 before choosing to concentrate solely on softball.
Richmond, a Kentucky native, came to Southeast just one year after graduating from Berea (Ky.) College in 1980. She spent a year coaching at Georgetown (Ky.) College before beginning her career in Cape Girardeau.
"I just appreciate the opportunity I've had to coach here," said Richmond, a five-time OVC coach of the year who led Southeast to five straight OVC titles from 1995 to 1999. She also is a two-time national Division II coach of the year, having led Southeast to the Division II final four in 1991.
While Richmond is proud of all the on-field success, she said she is more proud of the type of women she has helped mold.
"I'll never forget, my mother back in Kentucky, when I first got the job at age 23, she told me just remember you'll always be coaching some mother's daughter," Richmond said. "I've always used that as the basis for my philosophy. That takes on a lot of meaning and responsibility.
"We've had our years where we've been very successful in championships, but I've always looked over the kids to graduate and be good teammates, to be productive adults."
Richmond said she envisions adding to her win total for quite a while.
"I enjoy what I do and I see a lot of productive years ahead," she said.
The Redhawks (15-25) have struggled this year, not a surprise since they lost ace pitcher Giana Zimmerman to a season-ending shoulder injury before the campaign started.
"It's tough when you're low on pitching, but [Stefanie] Barnes and [Whitney] Dupuis really stepped up today," said Richmond, the reigning OVC co-coach of the year after leading Southeast to a second-place finish last season. "I'm proud of the girls for the way they played today. We had two close games against a competitive team that will be joining our conference. It's good to see us play well because we've struggled."
Shelby Stein's double drove in Melissa Walker in the top of the ninth in Thursday's opener for the deciding run against future OVC member SIUE (24-21).
Carmen Fowler had three of Southeast's nine hits. Stein and Walker added two each.
Barnes pitched a complete game. She allowed seven hits, struck out nine and walked four.
Southeast again had nine hits in the nightcap, led by Stein, Walker and Alex Ramirez with two apiece.
Dupuis took the loss, allowing nine hits and all three runs.
Southeast resumes OVC play this weekend with a three-game home series against Jacksonville State. There will be a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday and a 1 p.m. contest Sunday.
The Redhawks are last in the 10-team OVC at 5-12. JSU (23-16, 10-6) is third.