POPLAR BLUFF ? Jack Childress remembers the first time he saw Heather Robey. He wasn?t too impressed.
?When she first walked in here, I was just so-so about her,? Childress recalled, ?until I heard the mitt pop.?
It was a sound Childress became accustomed to hearing.
In two remarkable seasons with the Lady Raiders, Robey established new marks in nearly every imaginable pitching category.
She was rewarded for her efforts this week by being named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association?s All-American team.
Robey, who was shunned any honors by the National Junior College Athletic Association, was named to the NFCAA third team last season and made the first team this year.
?It may be more reputable,? Childress said. ?It goes completely on stats, not on how a team finishes and all that stuff. This is voted on by the coaches, so maybe it?s a little more sounder than NJCAA.?
Robey, who signed with Columbia College, leaves Three Rivers as arguably the program?s best all-time pitcher.
The left-hander from New Madrid set new Lady Raider records for innings pitched (248 1/3), career innings pitched (391 1/3), career wins (45), strikeouts per season (319), career strikeouts (529), ERA (0.68) and career ERA (0.86).
There isn?t a record for scoreless innings pitched, but Robey?s streak of 107 2/3 at the end of her sophomore season is likely the longest in program history.
?What is there to say?? Childress said. ?ERA, strikeouts, defensive ability from foul line to foul line, character ? it was all in one package.
?We?ve got some huge ? they?re bigger than Shaq?s shoes ? to fill.
?She?s broken every foreseeable record here. I don?t know if they?ll be touched for awhile. It?s amazing what she did.?