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Softball’s Courtney Platt inducted into 2024 ASUN Hall of Fame Class

Courtesy of Ryan Field/FGCU Athletics

FGCU’s softball program has been a dominant force in the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) competition over the past 16 years. The success has previously been exemplified by two Eagles being inducted into the ASUN Hall of Fame. On May 30, Courtney Platt added her name to the list.

Platt found her passion in softball at a young age when her parents dragged her and her twin sister, Casey Platt, up to her mother’s slowpitch league in Ohio. They would watch her mother play from the dugout, making it an activity that her whole family participated in.

 “It’s something that I have always stuck with,” Platt said. “But being able to grow up with my family and do that. It’s what helped me to play this sport for so long.”

Platt continued this passion at Gulf Coast High School, where she strengthened her skills. With her dominant style of play, she received numerous offers from different universities. The most eye-catching stemmed from FGCU Softball Head Coach David Deiros. 

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“I was a biology major, and seeing that the focus that FGCU has on maintaining the environment really met all of the goals I had at school,” Platt said. “The teammates and meeting Coach Deiros, it was more of a family feel. And that’s what really led me to stay in the area.”

Deiros was familiar with Gulf Coast High School’s softball program, having brought the school a district title in 1999 before his time coaching at FGCU. This allowed him to see Platt’s skills up close, viewing multiple games during her high school career. Her skill and proximity to FGCU made it an easy decision to recruit her for their roster.

“Courtney was the best player on the field,” Deiros said. “Didn’t matter the game that she was playing and she’s all 5-foot-2, so she doesn’t look that imposing. Offensively she’s probably one of the best, if not the best, offensive player to come out of Collier County that particular year.”

In Platt’s first season with the Eagles, she saw herself being immediately promoted to the starting lineup. Her skill wasn’t in question, as Deiros knew she had what it took to compete at the highest level. For many, they wondered if she could face the pressure of college-level competition in her freshman year.

FGCU’s recent move to NCAA Division I competition lessened the pressure. With promotion, the Eagles were restricted from postseason competition for the following four years. A stipulation many players would see as a downside, Platt used it to strengthen her skills.

“It gave me the chance to play the best I could without the pressure of having to commit to knowing we would make postseason and worrying that I’d mess up,” Platt said.

Courtesy of Ryan Field/FGCU Athletics

Platt had a dominant freshman season as she started in 61 of her 62 games. She was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team, with her most impressive stats stemming from her 13 runs and 41 walks throughout the season.

“For Courtney to break into that starting lineup from day one was pretty impressive because we were a stacked team as far as that’s concerned,” Deiros said. “That was the team that finished 10th in the country at D-II (NCAA Division II).”

She built upon this success in her sophomore season, as she was named to the NFCA South All-Region First Team and the Atlantic Sun All-Conference First Team. She scored 41 runs, 59 hits and a .563 on-base percentage.

While Platt took a step back during her junior season in overall statistics, she led her team with nine home runs and 40 walks. Her on-base percentage and slugging percentage both dipped during this season, yet was good enough to finish inside the top three across the ASUN Conference.

Platt’s final year was her best season with the Eagles, as she led multiple categories across her team and the ASUN Conference. She had the highest batting average with .387, claimed 93 total bases and got walked 57 times. With this performance, she was awarded Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and made the All-Conference First Team.

All of the accolades wouldn’t go unnoticed, as Platt was nominated to be a part of the 2024 ASUN Hall of Fame class. She marked the seventh time an Eagle has been nominated into the Hall of Fame and was the third to come out of the softball program.

“I was just blown away,” Platt said. “I still am; I can’t explain it in words. It was a great time, playing there, and to hear that I’ve made it to this level is something I’ll be forever grateful for.”

After being away from the softball world for over a decade, everything came rushing back for Platt at the induction ceremony. This time around, she was able to share it with her husband, Alex Pohlman, and two sons, William and Ben Pohlman, who were not used to this side of their mom.

After that night, Platt’s name was solidified as one of the best softball players in the ASUN Conference. She helped build the FGCU softball program to the staple they are today, helping the team achieve four dominant seasons before her play eligibility ran out. As for the Eagles, they brought home their first ASUN title in 2012, one year after Platt hung her cleats up.

“I hope that they [FGCU softball players] can gather or hold on to how much I love the game,” Platt said. “ It wasn’t just myself and my performance. It was all the people that cheered us on. I hope that they can see that I gave my best effort and that my love for the game was pure.”

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About the Contributor
Jeffrey Hrunka
Jeffrey Hrunka, Eagle News Assistant Sports Editor
Jeffrey Hrunka is a junior double majoring in communications and journalism with a concentration in public relations. Jeffrey is from Fort Myers where his interest in sports journalism originated after falling in love with the world of motorsports. When he’s not working for Eagle News, he is usually spending time with friends, watching the New York Giants lose, or chilling in the pool.

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