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MARIETTA -- Perhaps Webster's Dictionary should add an alternate two-word definition for the word "perseverance": Donna Newberry.
Whether you're talking about enduring the infancy of fastpitch softball; 36 years of coaching or more recent health concerns, Coach Newberry has certainly persevered.
The highly-respected Muskingum University coach achieved an eye-popping milestone on Tuesday, reaching the 900-victory mark in a doubleheader split against Ohio Athletic Conference rival Marietta College. The Lady Muskies got it done in an 8-3 opening win before Marietta earned a split with a 3-2 decision in game two.
"A lot of it truly is about perseverance," said Newberry, who sports a 900-414-1 overall record at Muskingum. "We've been fortunate to have a lot of good players and it's as much about them as it is about me.
"We've got a young team and they did a nice job handling the pressure today," she added. "I'm sure there will be plenty who follow me, but it's nice to be the first (to 900).
"Muskingum has believed in me and supported me," said an emotional Newberry. "It's been a great day."
Newberry's 900th came against long-time coaching rival and friend Jeanne Arbuckle of Marietta, causing the veteran Lady Muskie coach mixed emotions.
"I hate to see it come against Jeannie because she's been such a good friend," she said, "but it's also nice to have her here to be a part of it, too."
Also glad to be on hand was Muskingum assistant coach Kari Hoying.
"I was playing when she got 722," said Hoying, referring to Newberry's record-setting 722nd victory which made her the NCAA Division III's all-time winningest softball coach, "and to be with her today when she reached 900 is quite an honor.
"She continues to make the shoes to fill that much bigger," Hoying continued. "There are a lot of good coaches out there, but there's no one like Coach Newberry. I'm definitely learning from the best."
With the split, Muskingum is now 16-16 overall and 6-6 in the OAC while Marietta stands 17-12 overall and 5-7 in the conference.
In game one, Muskingum jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead and got complete-game pitching from sophomore Ashley Price. Price (8-6) recorded four strikeouts and one walk.
Catcher Aly Mazzei had the hot bat for the Lady Muskies, collecting a home run, double, single and driving in two runs. Price helped herself with three singles while senior Chloe Moloney had two singles and an RBI.
Sophomore Kristyn Heagen (John Glenn) delivered a pinch-hit two-run double; junior Mary Margaret Boda had an RBI double off the top of the centerfield fence; and senior Katie Reese added a two-bagger.
Katie Swejk and Michelle Sayre each had two singles for Marietta.
In game two, Sayre paced Marietta to victory with a home run, two singles and two RBI. Cassady Busellato contributed a double and two singles while Katie Woolf and Hope Cowoski each had two singles.
For the Lady Muskies, Boda rapped a double and single and drove in a run; Jendy Weppler had two singles and an RBI; Reese smacked two singles; and Mazzei had a double.
Starting pitcher Carissa Diebler (4-5) took the loss, working five innings before Price finished up in the sixth.
Chelsea Chaffin got the win for Marietta with a complete-game effort.