PERU – Tabitha Keating enjoyed a home run career as a member of Peru State College’s softball program for four years.
Those efforts will help her touch a Hall of Fame plate at the school later this fall.
Peru State officials announced this past week that Keating would be inducted into the Peru State Athletic Hall of Fame. Keating will be one of five Bobcats who will be honored at Hall of Fame events Oct. 25-26. Scott Gerdes, Norris Hale, Al Urwin and William Witty are also being inducted during the weekend.
“I am incredibly honored to get to be inducted in the Hall of Fame,” Keating said. “My time at Peru State has made me the person I am today and I am forever grateful.”
Keating graduated from Plattsmouth High School and is the head varsity softball coach for the Blue Devils. She said she has tried to pass on the lessons she learned at Peru State to her players in the Plattsmouth dugout.
“Being inducted is just another reminder of why I coach the way I coach – pushing athletes to become the best version of themselves on and off the field,” Keating said. “Hard work truly does pay off and I can honestly say I left all of my sweat and tears on that field. I am beyond proud to represent PSC softball in the Hall of Fame.”
Keating played at Peru State from 2004-07 and ended her career with multiple honors. Her 2007 campaign remains one of the best individual seasons in program history.
Keating finished her senior year with a .411 batting average, 86 runs batted in, 76 hits, 54 runs scored, 29 home runs and 28 doubles in 185 at-bats. She was the top home run hitter in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and was a first-team NAIA All-American. She joined Elaine Ferin (1989) and Kristi Deleeuw (1991) as the only Bobcats to be recognized as NAIA All-Americans.
Keating also dominated opponents from the pitcher’s circle as a senior. She tossed 182 2/3 innings and finished with 20 victories and 123 strikeouts.
Keating remains first in Peru State history for single-season RBI, hits and home runs. She finished her career with a .361 batting average, 176 hits, 36 home runs, 144 RBI and 65 walks. She produced a career earned run average of 3.01 in 437 innings pitched. She collected 41 victories, 272 strikeouts and 34 complete games during that span.
Keating said she treasured her time at Peru State because of the positive experiences she had with both teammates and coaches.
“The thing I enjoyed most about playing at Peru State are the memories – every single one of them – both the amazing and the heartbreaking,” Keating said. “I’ve made lifelong friends and my college experience is why I started coaching.”
Keating said the Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be bittersweet because former head softball coach Mark Mathews will not be there. Mathews passed away in December 2017 after leading the Bobcats for 24 seasons.
“He was an integral part of my successes as he provided me a life-changing opportunity and experience,” Keating said.
Keating and the other inductees will be recognized at a Hall of Fame reception and banquet beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in the Peru State Student Center. They will also be honored at halftime of the school’s football game on Saturday, Oct. 26. The game will begin at 11 a.m. in the Oak Bowl.
Keating has been head softball coach at Plattsmouth since 2015. She has also coached softball at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado, Doane University and Papillion-La Vista South High School. She currently works as a development officer for the Madonna School in Omaha.