Lou Piel – 1979
As a young farm girl in northeastern Colorado, Lou couldn’t hit the side of a barn, but it didn’t take her long to find the target.
Practice paid off in 1979 as the University of Northern Colorado’s junior pitching ace lit up the scoreboard with 155 strikeouts, a 0.52 earned runs average and an 18-2 won-loss record.
Leading UNC’s Division I team to the Region VII championship and a third straight berth in the College World Series, the star hurler was named to the all-conference team for the third year in a row and was a “Top Ten” player at the national competition.
Five no-hitters, 17 shutouts, a 48-7 won-loss record and a career ERA of 0.05 illuminated her three-year collegiate marquee, and a string of equally impressive American Softball Association (ASA) credits boosted her selection for the first-ever U.S. Women’s Pan-American Games softball team tryouts.
The talented 6 footer also received all-America designation from both the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and the ASA, and was nominated for the AIAW Broderick Award presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding female athlete.
The 1979 achievement of which she is proudest, however, was her 1-0 win over the world champion Raybestos Brakettes as pitcher for the silver medalist Law Equipment of Greeley team at National Sports Festival 11 in Colorado Springs. The previously invincible Brakettes were eight-time ASA titleholders!
Subsequently, Lou pitched for the USA teams in the 1981 Tri National Championships in Japan and the 1982 World Championships in Taiwan. She spent an illustrious four years as head softball coach at the University of South Carolina, which was ranked in the Top 10 nationally throughout her tenure, but now is an insurance administrator.