A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: How softball joined the ranks of elite sports at Thomas More — Bors and Wegman stand out

By Michael Pagano
Thomas More University

The Saints softball program is one of the most successful on the Thomas More University campus.

Bors delivers a pitch against Trine University. (Photo by Richard Fields.)

Eight conference tournament championships and 10 NCAA tournament appearances since 2005 will put any program on the map not only regionally but nationally.

That said, it was a rocky road for the program to get to this point, and there were several special players along the way that helped to turn the program around. For example, there are 12 members of the Thomas More Hall of Fame who donned a Thomas More softball uniform during their career, with two of them being Dr. Dana Bors and Brittany (Wegman) Armstrong.

Back to the beginning, softball was around for the 1980s, but as a slow-pitch squad, they did not enter fast-pitch play until the 1991 season. The team won just one game during its first six years of fast-pitch existence, while there were three years (1994–96) with no team.

The team began to turn it around in the year 2000 under the coaching guidance of former Saints football All-American Everett Roper, who led the squad to a 12-win season that year. Their breakout came in 2002 though, when the program completed its first winning season, going 18-12. Two more winning seasons followed in 2003 and 2004 before a 19-11 record in 2005 saw the team make their first appearance in the NCAA tournament. They did not win a game in the tournament, but a solid foundation had been established for the future of the program.

Wegman gets ready for the throw to first base.

After another NCAA tournament appearance in 2006 and a PAC Tournament Championship in 2007, the team bid farewell to their winningest coach in program history to that point, Everett Roper. He finished his tenure with 157 wins at the helm of his alma mater and was inducted into the Thomas More Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. In the end, he must first be remembered as a dynamic football player on some of the early Thomas More teams, but he was also the man who helped put Saints softball on the map.

Moving to the next generation brings us to two of the most influential players in program history as well as softball’s current head coach. Dana Bors began her Saints career in 2008 before Brittany (Wegman) Armstrong came to campus in 2009, along with new head coach Lindsay Eagan.

The Saints began a stretch of 11 straight seasons (2009–2019) where they won 22 games or more and had six seasons with 31 wins or more. Bors and (Wegman) Armstrong were major parts of the early Eagan teams as each player was named First Team All President’s Athletic Conference (PAC) during their four seasons on campus. Bors was named PAC Player of the Year in 2009 and (Wegman) Armstrong earned the honor in 2010.

Bors gets focused inside the batter’s box. (Photo provided)

The two players also earned NFCA Division III All-Central Region honors five total times. Bors earned the honor a pair of times in 2009 (Second Team) and 2010 (At-large Third Team). (Wegman) Armstrong was named three times in 2010 (At-large First Team), 2011 (At-large Third Team), and 2012 (First Team).

They were also both part of the 2009 and 2010 PAC Tournament Championship teams. They helped the Saints win their first two games in NCAA Tournament play in 2009. Further, the team set a single-season program record that still stands today, winning 36 games.

Bors and (Wegman) Armstrong both held several program records when they graduated. As the top pitcher, Bors had a program-best 45 wins, 470 strikeouts, and 453 innings pitched. (Wegman) Armstrong held the program lead offensively with 142 runs scored, 40 home runs, and 144 runs batted in (RBI).

While these records do not stand anymore, these two helped lay the foundation for years and years of Saints softball success that is still going strong today. They established the program for other players like Alix DeDreu (2016–19) and Andrea Gahan (2017–21) who would later come in and break their records and set an even higher bar of success for the program. DeDreu and Gahan were both two-time All-Americans during their tenures at Thomas More.

Wegman gets focused in the batter’s box.

In remembering her two trailblazers, their former head coach Lindsay Eagan, had high praise for both players, “Dana Bors was a force on the mound and led our 2009 team to a school record – 36-win season. Our pitching staff of Dana and Sam (Ladenburger) Wegman complimented each other perfectly and led our team to back-to-back PAC Tournament Championships in 2009 and 2010. Dana was not only a great softball player but was also an important member of the women’s basketball team while excelling in Forensic Chemistry. Brittany Wegman was one of the most impactful offensive players in program history. One of the top power hitters ever for the Saints, she was also one of the country’s leaders in on-base-percentage during her career. Brittany was also a crucial part of the PAC Tournament Championships in 2009 and 2010. She was an excellent student and graduated with her nursing degree in 2012.”

Dr. Bors is currently the breath test program supervisor at the Indiana State Department of Toxicology while (Wegman) Armstrong works at St. Elizabeth Healthcare as a labor and delivery nurse when needed. She also works full-time in one of their obstetrics offices.

Michael Pagano is Co-Director of Sports Information at Thomas More University. He can be reached at paganom@thomasmore.edu.

Paul A. Tenkotte, PhD is Editor of the “Our Rich History” weekly series and Professor of History and Gender Studies at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). He also serves as Director of the ORVILLE Project (Ohio River Valley Innovation Library and Learning Enrichment), as well as Editor of the forthcoming ORVIE (Ohio River Valley Innovation Encyclopedia), previewing in Summer 2024. ORVIE is now recruiting authors for entries on all aspects of innovation in the Ohio River Watershed including: Cincinnati (OH) and Northern Kentucky; Ashland, Lexington, Louisville, Maysville, Owensboro and Paducah (KY); Columbus, Dayton, Marietta, Portsmouth, and Steubenville (OH); Evansville, Madison and Indianapolis (IN), Pittsburgh (PA), Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg, and Wheeling (WV), Cairo (IL), and Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville (TN). If you would like to be involved in ORVILLE or ORVIE, please contact Paul Tenkotte at tenkottep@nku.edu.

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