Donna Clancy Trainer
Donna Clancy Trainer
Sport(s): Softball
Year of Graduation: 1984-1988
Year Inducted: 2001

 

*Induction Speech by Randy Lambert*

 

DONNA CLANCY TRAINER 1984 – 1988 SOFTBALL

 

OUR NEXT INDUCTEE IS MRS. DONNA CLANCY TRAINER.  DONNA, WILL YOU PLEASE COME FORWARD?  WOMEN’S ATHLETICS HAVE COME A LONG WAY IN A RELATIVE VERY SHORT TIME.  AT THE START OF ATHLETICS FOR WOMEN AT MC, YOU HAD THE M CLUB, WHICH WAS BASICALLY AN ALL-FEMALE INTRAMURAL PROGRAM.  THE ACTIVITY COULD BE BASKETBALL, FLAG FOOTBALL, OR VOLLEYBALL.  BEFORE THE M CLUB, A FEMALE STUDENT COULD BE A MEMBER OF THE CHILLIES OF THE HOWIES AND COMPETE IN A NUMBER OF ACTIVITIES.  IN 1974, YOU HAD THE FIRST VARSITY SPORT OF BASKETBALL.  VOLLEYBALL FOLLOWED THE NEXT YEAR.  SOFTBALL BEGAN IN 1982 AND IN THE FOLLOWING TWO YEARS, A YOUNG LADY FROM NASHVILLE WOULD TAKE THE PROGRAM TO NATIONAL PROMINENCE.  DONNA CLANCY WAS MAKING HISTORY IN THE HIGH SCHOOL AND SUMMER LEAGUES IN NASHVILLE.  AS AN OUTSTANDING PITCHER AT BRENTWOOD ACADEMY, SHE WAS CHOSEN THE 1984 MVP ON THE ALL-NASHVILLE SOFTBALL TEAM.  WORD GOT OUT QUICKLY ON THE MARYVILLE CAMPUS THAT THE HIGHLY RECRUITED PHENOM OF A PLAYER WAS GOING TO PLAY FOR US.  BEING SELECTED AS A PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR, MADE DONNA’S COLLEGIATE DECISION EASIER, BUT PLAYING IN A NEW PROGRAM WAS ALSO VERY ENTICING.

 

DONNA’S FRESHMAN YEAR WAS AN UNUSUAL ONE.  THE TEAM PLAYED THE FIRST HALF OF THE SEASON IN SLOW PITCH STYLE AND PLAYED THE SECOND HALF IN FAST PITCH STYLE.  MOST OF THE TEAMS IN OUR REGION PLAYED SLOW PITCH BALL, BUT THE NCAA RECOGNIZED FAST PITCH ONLY AND MARYVILLE BEGAN PLAYING THAT WAY FROM THIS SEASON ON.  DONNA PITCHED ALL OF THE FAST PITCH GAMES THAT YEAR AND FINISHED WITH A 10 – 8 RECORD AND A 2.10 EARNED RUN AVERAGE.  IT DID NOT TAKE HER LONG TO ESTABLISH HERSELF AS AN IMPRESSIVE PITCHER WITH AN ASSORTMENT OF PITCHES.  HER STYLE WAS UNORTHODOX.  SHE WOULD BRING THE BALL HIGH ABOVE HER HEAD TO INITIATE THE WIND-UP, AND THEN WOULD SLING THE BALL ACROSS THE PLATE.  AT 5’10” AND LONG ARMS, HER WINDMILL RELEASE WOULD LITERALLY DRAG THE BALL ACROSS THE GROUND BEFORE IT WAS RELEASED.  OFTEN TIMES HER RELEASE WOULD CAUSE DUST TO FLY.  WE JUST SAID IT WAS SMOKE  FROM THAT RIFLE THAT SHE CALLED HER PITCHING ARM.  IN APRIL OF HER FRESHMAN YEAR, SHE PITCHED HER FIRST COLLEGIATE NO HITTER AGAINST UT- MARTIN AS THE LADY SCOTS WON 1-0.  WHEN SHE WASN’T PITCHING, SHE COULD HIT AND FIELD WITH THE BEST OF THEM.  USUALLY, SHE PLAYED SECOND BASE.  HER RANGE AND ARM ALLOWDED HER TO BE QUITE EFFECTIVE IN COVERING THE MIDDLE OF THE INFIELD.

 
 
 
 

IN DONNA’S SOPHOMORE YEAR, THE MC SOFTBALLERS, IN THEIR FIRST FULL SEASON OF FAST PITCH, PUT TOGETHER AN IMPRESSIVE RECORD OF 21 – 7.  DONNA’S ARM CARRIED THE LADY SCOTS IN 10 OF THOSE WINS.  HER TEAMMATES ALSO HAD GREAT YEARS; DENISE PENZKOFER, PENNY HEAD, AND NANCY KOEHL.  FOLLOWERS OF THE SPORT BEGAN TO TALK.  MARYVILLE COLLEGE SOFTBALL WAS FOR REAL AND DONNA CLANCY WAS A BIG REASON FOR THIS EMERGENCE.  DONNA WAS UNIQUE IN THAT SHE WAS A PITCHER THAT COULD HIT.  SHE LED THE TEAM IN HITTING FOR THE 86 SEASON WITH A .382 BATTING AVERAGE. 

 

IN 1987, THE LADY SCOTS OF THE DIAMOND WOULD PUT TOGETHER A 21–13

SEASON.  DONNA WOULD LEAD THE TEAM AGAIN WITH AN 11–7 RECORD AND AN AMAZING 1.75 EARNED RUN AVERAGE, HER PERSONAL BEST.  IN HER FINAL YEAR AND A  22-11 RECORD.  DONNA WOULD CONCLUDE HER COLLEGIATE CAREER WITH A 12 – 6 PITCHING RECORD. THAT YEAR, SHE HAD 112 STRIKEOUTS IN 132 INNINGS, AVERAGING ALMOST 1 STRIKEOUT PER INNINING PITCHED AN AMAZING STATISTIC.  LETS SUMMARIZE HER CAREER STATS:  43 PITCHING WINS – SHE PERSONALLY STRUCK OUT 313 BATTERS – A 2.08 CAREER EARNED RUN AVERAGE – A .375 CAREER BATTING AVERAGE.  COULD SHE HAVE DONE MUCH MORE?  THERE IS NO QUESTION, DONNA CLANCY WAS A PIONEER OF MC SOFTBALL.  IN THE SPRING OF 1988 AFTER SOFTBALL SEASON, DONNA GRADUATED CUM LAUD AND MOVED BACK TO  NASHVILLE.  IN THE NEXT YEAR SHE COMPLETED HER REQUIREMENTS FOR HER MASTER’S DEGREE AT MTSU AND GRADUATED SUMA CUM LAUD WITH A PERFECT 4.0 AVERAGE.  SHE CURRENTLY LIVES OUTSIDE NASHVILLE IN NOLENSVILLE WITH HER HUSBAND, JOHN, AND THEIR TWO YOUNG CHILDREN.  JOIN ME IN CONGRATULATING THIS SOFTBALL LEGEND –  DONNA CLANCY TRAINER.