ASHLAND, Ore. — She owns nearly every school record at Corban University. She ranks in the top ten in seven NAIA statistical categories, including the all-time leader in home runs with 83. However, when Stephanie Nippert Hull’s husband took a job in Ashland, the former Warrior changed her colors.
“I actually just received an email from her,” said SOU head coach Kim Fritts. “I was like, ‘huh?’ It had Hull on it. It was just an instant reply. Yes, come and talk to me, we’ll work with you in anything that you need to do. We definitely want you to be a part of our staff.”
Now she’s an assistant coach with the Raiders, a team she competed against just last year.
“It was a little weird, like, ‘oh are the girls going to be mad if I’m here?’ Are they just going to resent me because I went to Corban?” said Hull.
“I mainly thought of that time playing at Corban and she hit a walk-off grand slam off me so I did not like her ever since then,” said Sydney White.
The players quickly warmed up to the idea of nabbing an opposing star from their conference rival.
“We have her. She’s here,” said Sierra Anderson. “She’s going to teach us, not you.”
“It was like a, Aha, we got your key player.’ Now let’s see what we’re going to do, how she’s going to help us and kind of kick it back in the face,” said White.
It’s not bad having an instructor who averaged a home run every other game last year.
“I tell her to take the reins,” said Fritts. “I’m like, ‘run with it.’ If you see something, go, make that change and get these kids hitting the ball like you did.”
“I just knew when I played what I thought good coaching was and what I thought bad coaching was,” said Hull.
Besides earning automatic respect for her accomplishments, the players can easily relate to her.
“She knows what we’re going through,” said White. “She can relate, and so just having that relationship with her is great.”
“Coming right from college and saying, ‘oh, well last year we did this’ or just relating road trip stories with them,” said Hull.
“She’s really easy to get along with and always happy and smiley and stuff so that definitely helped,” said Anderson.
It also helped them sweep a double header with Corban the first time the teams met this year, and there were no mixed emotions for the former Warriors’ star.
“It was good to beat them,” said Hull. “I wanted to. I mean, they’re my alma mater, and I love them. I love my school. I loved my time there, but we’re here to win.”