It all began with victory No. 1 in 1982.
Since then, City College softball coach Tim Kiernan has reached milestone after milestone after milestone, and Tuesday, he reached a truly grand marker.
With a victory over Folsom Lake College, Kiernan recorded his 1,000th career win as a softball coach for City College.
With rain expected on the forecast, Tuesday’s game almost didn’t happen. Kiernan said that it rained the entire bus ride up to Folsom, but once game time came, the rain stopped just long enough to get in an 11-3 victory in six innings.
The Panthers pounded out 14 hits as Danielle Reyes recorded her 12th win of the season. Elizabeth Caffero hit her team-leading ninth home run in the win while Morgan Silva-Conner and Mackenzie Duval collected three hits apiece.
Forever focused on the task at hand, Kiernan said he didn’t realize the significance of Tuesday’s win until he went to the outfield for his customary post-game address, where his team greeted him with a round of applause.
“It was kinda nice,” said Kiernan, whose smile can be tough to crack. “I didn’t even think about it. As I was walking out there, they all started clapping. Someone said, ‘Congratulations, coach. You made it.’”
Kiernan led City softball to three of its four state titles in 1988, ’92 and ’96, including a national crown in 1992. Kiernan took a brief hiatus from coaching the softball team and led the City women’s golf team to more than 800 victories and a 2009 state championship before returning to the softball team in 2012.
“It’s pretty legendary,” Mackenzie Duval said of Kiernan’s milestone.
“It’s not every day that a coach gets 1,000 wins,” said Reyes. “Just to be here and have that opportunity to celebrate that with him is really special.”
“He’s been through it all, and it’s nice to know that we’re here for him,” said outfielder Ashley Duval.
Despite the accolades and achievements, the wins that are most important to Kiernan are the ones still to come.
Sixteen games remain in the 2018 regular season. City is 14-10 overall and 4-4 in the Big 8 Conference, which Kiernan believes to be the toughest conference in California.
“We’ve got bigger and better things,” Kiernan said. “We can make playoffs… We just need to get a little bit of a roll going. If we can win most of them, we have a shot.”
City travels to Sierra College Thursday for a makeup game before hosting a double-header against Modesto Saturday at noon.
For more info on SCC softball, visit www.sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/sball/.