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Cohen shines in Arkansas
by Damian Tromerhauser
May 01, 2013 | 5095 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo - Former Reed standout Chelsea Cohen has been an ace for the Arkansas Razorbacks this spring, helping the SEC team to a Top 25 ranking.
Contributed photo - Former Reed standout Chelsea Cohen has been an ace for the Arkansas Razorbacks this spring, helping the SEC team to a Top 25 ranking.
When Chelsea Cohen graduated from Reed High School in 2009 and chose the University of Arkansas as her new home, she knew there would some things she would have to adjust to on the softball field. There were also some things off of the field that took a little adjusting to as well.

“Getting used to the accents here is definitely one of the biggest differences I had to get used to,” Cohen said. “When I first got here, there were a few words I wasn’t sure what people were saying, but it’s kind of caught on with me.”

Accents aren’t the only thing that will leave an imprint on Cohen though.

“Being at Arkansas has been a huge change for me,” the former Raider standout said. “It’s just been a learning and growing experience for me and I’ve really enjoyed it. I really love it here and I love the people and the town.

“I’ve just really enjoyed it and the time I’ve had with my coaches and teammates. This year has just been really exciting. We’ve worked really hard and it’s finally paying off. We’re kind of rallying around each other and going as big as we can.”

And going big is just what the Razorbacks have done thus far this season. While Arkansas has left a mark on Cohen, Cohen and her Razorback teammates are definitely leaving their mark on the softball program.

This season the Razorbacks have seen unheralded success on the softball diamond. Heading into its final series of the regular season, Arkansas currently sits at 31-17 overall and 9-10 in the Southeastern Conference, garnering the first Top 25 ranking in program history.

Part of the reason the Razorbacks are currently ranked No. 22 in the nation is thanks to Cohen, one of their senior leaders. Cohen helped Arkansas crack the Top 25 with a sweep of Georgia, a first for the program, in which Cohen started all three games, giving up four runs over 16 innings of work from the circle. Cohen has earned a 13-8 record this season, starting 21 games and making 29 appearances. Over 121 2/3 innings pitched, she has a 2.93 ERA with 130 strikeouts. Recently, the Razorbacks topped No. 2 Tennessee, the ninth ranked opponent they have defeated this season.

“I wouldn’t want to go out any other way,” Cohen said. “I couldn’t have asked for better teammates or a better coaching staff. It’s just so fun with it being my last season to leave it all out there each time we go out on the field. We’ve really taken down some big teams. Just to have that confidence and not being scared of the name on the front of the jersey that’s in the other dugout, it’s awesome. I can’t think of a better way to end my career.”

As Cohen’s time on the softball field winds down, so does her time on the Arkansas campus and in the classroom. Next week, Cohen will officially earn a degree in hotel/restaurant management and hospitality. However, she will not walk at the graduation ceremony because the Razorbacks will be taking part in the SEC Tournament. Cohen said while missing out on that moment is a bit of a disappointment, it doesn’t take away from her accomplishments.

“It’s really cool that I got to live out my dream and play softball and get my degree while I was at it,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed all my classes and the school is really supportive and now I’m ready to get my career started. I think Arkansas has set me up for success.”

As for the work left on the diamond, Cohen is hoping the Razorbacks go just a little bit bigger than they already have.

“As far as team accomplishments, we definitely we want to be in Oklahoma City at the end of the year playing with the top teams. Personally, I really want to put the team on my back and do the best that I can to get us as far as we can. I’ve never really been huge on stats, so all that really matters to me is where we end up as a team as a whole.”

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