By Sue Botos
When Terri Krach played softball for Rocky River High School, she was a standout at third base. But during her senior year, she decided to add pitching to her repertoire.
“I pitched kind of for fun and to be the backup. I was just throwing for fun. Third base is my love,” Krach stated in a recent interview, noting that her fling with pitching netted a 6-0 record.
When Krach graduated in 1984, she headed to Ohio Northern University, intending to play third for the Polar Bears. “Then my college coach got wind that I pitched,” Krach said. The rest is history, as Krach led ONU to an Ohio Athletic Conference championship while posting an 85-25 win-loss record during her four-year college career. During that time she never sat out a single inning of play, even during doubleheaders, where she would often start at third for the first game, then pitch the second.
In recognition of her achievements, Krach was inducted into the ONU Athletic Hall of Fame during the school’s homecoming celebration on Oct. 18.
Still the record holder for Rocky River High with a single-season batting average of .536, Krach’s record-breaking play continued for the Polar Bears. She is an all-time career leader, as a pitcher, in ERA and wins, still holding a record 1.00 single season ERA. She is also on the books for most walks and runs scored, and for stealing 47 bases (now ranked fourth) during her ONU career.
Team co-captain during her junior and senior year, Krach was 1st Team All Central Region (1986) and 1st Team All Ohio Athletic Conference in 1985 and 1986, when she became the only player in ONU history to be selected as first team in two positions, pitcher and third base. Her feats on the diamond also resulted in her being named to “Outstanding College Students of America” in 1988.
Despite her natural athletic ability, Krach is driven by her passion for sports. “I’m proud of the fact that I took up pitching later in life,” she said, adding, “But I thought, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this right.” She recalled many hours, during her summers off from college, practicing her pitching form against a mattress in the garage of her Rocky River family home, where she still lives today.
“It really makes me smile when I think back to those times,” said Krach, who coached the Pirate softball squad after graduating from ONU, and has played in a softball league, where she helped her team win numerous Amateur Softball Association tournaments and other awards. While Krach said that softball is still her first love, she has turned her athletic talents to the tennis court.
“I’m 48 and the softball thing was dwindling down. I started taking tennis lessons 11 years ago and fell in love with it,” said Krach, now a supervisor and tennis instructor for the Rocky River recreation department. She also teaches for “Little Rackets,” a children’s tennis organization.
Although Krach is passionate about her sports, she wants to stress to her young students that it should not be all about work. “I love working with kids. The main thing is to have fun,” she said. Her athletic abilities have translated well to tennis, where she holds a 4.5 ranking out of a possible 7 from the United States Tennis Association.
Ohio Northern Director of Athletics Tom Simmons commented via email, “Ohio Northern has been playing softball since 1968. We’ve had some remarkable players and much success over the years For Terri to maintain such a lofty status in career statistics is testament to the incredible talent she brought to ONU. Great programs are built on people like Terri, and she certainly deserves to be recognized with our highest honor.”
Police Chief Kelly Stillman, a family friend for many years, recently presented Krach with a proclamation from the city, noting her success. “Terri is a fantastic person, mentor and role model for female softball players,” he stated.