Cathy L. Applegate
Cathy Applegate is synonymous with Hillsdale softball, and in 1977 the Hillsdale program was born, however, it was obvious it was destined for greatness with a Class A Runner-Up in 1978 and a State Championship in 1979. In 1983, Cathy joined the team once again, but this time as junior varsity coach. After three years, she became the varsity coach and has continued the tradition for well over a decade, compiling a 234 and 79 record. During her 13 years, she has taken the state title twice (1994 and 1996) and has been the state runners-up twice (1986 and 1992). Her 1995 team reached the state semi-finals. Post-season play is expected for the Falcons, as they have won 12 sectional titles, 6 district titles, and 5 regional titles in Applegate’s coaching career. Within the Wayne County Athletic League, she has led her teams to league titles and received coach of the year honors 9 times, from 1990-1998. She was selected as the Ashland Area Coach of the Year five times. Applegate states that one of her greatest coaching moments was the 1992 District Final game when the Falcons beat the favored Loudonville Redbirds 4-2 in 8 innings of play. Loudonville had beaten the Falcons 2-1 and 8-1 in regular season play, but could not stop the Falcons, who advanced in the tournament to be the Division III State Runners-Up.
After earning her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Ashland University in 1983, Applegate immediately stepped into a full-time position with her alma mater Hillsdale, where she has been employed the last 15 years as a math teacher. She continued her studies at Ashland and received her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1988. Cathy not only coaches softball, but has been at the helm of the girls varsity basketball team. Applegate has also coached junior varsity volleyball and junior high basketball and volleyball.
Applegate realizes the overall success of the Falcon program is due to her highly dedicated and motivated players and assistants. She cites the outstanding support her teams receive from the community of loyal fans as the driving force behind their continued success.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, golfing, and watching sporting events.
Nominator: Barb Hendrix & Barb Applegate