By Rosemary Pollock
Rowe Leaves BYU to Star at Culver-Stockton College
LECANTO, FLORIDA -- Former standout pitcher, Michelle Rowe, who led
the Lecanto High Panthers to the only fast-pitch softball state title
in Citrus County history five years ago and lead Culver-Stockton to
an NAIA regional tournament, was one of three Wildcats to recently be
named to the Heart of America Athletic Conference team. Rowe and
Culver-Stockton (Missouri) College coach Jim Webb will represent the
third seed Wildcats in the NAIA Region V Tournament which starts on
"If we win this tournament, we go to nationals," Rowe said. "We could
do it, but we've had some injuries that will make it hard." "Some of
the teams we know. Evangel (Springfield, Mo.) won the regular season
title. We've played them five times and beaten them four times, and
we might end up playing them again. They are a good team, but all the
teams are good," Rowe added.
Accolades continue to pour in for the diminutive player whose heart
and smarts have led her to the top at every level she's played.
"There isn't one thing that stands out," said coach Webb. "She does
everything well and uses resources others don't."
One of those resources may be her active membership in The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rowe had always dreamed of
attending Brigham Young University. Her dream was realized as she
began to take classes at BYU, but it clashed with her passion for
"I got to BYU and that was my dream," Rowe said. "I would have loved
to play for them, but I'm small and they are a really good (NCAA)
Division I program. I was fine going to school and not playing ball.
I really liked it there. But when coach Webb offered me a chance to
play two more years, he kind of opened my eyes. I realized I wouldn't
be playing my last two years in college, and I didn't realize how
much I would miss playing," she said. "I'm glad I came back to play,
but it was hard." Rowe is especially close to her father. They
learned the game together and practiced daily.
"My shins, banged by softballs for nearly six years, can attest to
it," said Ray Rowe. "When you have a father/daughter relationship
like that, it's special. It was common ground for us to come together
on. It really was a special time for me. It was great."
"She's not big, and she doesn't throw it real hard, she just beats
those people," Webb said. "BYU had two pitchers on their roster that
she beat (in junior college). They were 6-foot and about 170 pounds.
They were interested in their height and their speed, but Michelle
knows how to pitch. Now she's leading us in hitting here.
"At Lake City, she was such a good pitcher she didn't get to bat
much. But Michelle just has heart. I always know Michelle will do a
great job and that she'll give us a good performance everytime out.
I'm glad she played for me over the years."
Ex-Lecanto star keeps shining
St Petersburg FL Times 6May01 S2
By Carey Freeman
The key pitcher in the Panthers' capture of the 1996 Class 4A crown is leading Culver-Stockton in its pursuit of a berth to the national tournament.