Thurs., Feb. 9, 2023

Dusters announce EKU record-holder as head coach

Omaha — The Heartland Collegiate League announced former Eastern Kentucky standout Hannah Clark as the head coach of the Dusters.

Clark was a four-year starter for the Colonels at shortstop and finished her career with  a .305 batting average, 41 doubles, 47 home runs and 179 runs batted in. She is the program’s all-time home run and RBI record holder. 

During her collegiate career she was named Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer Team, All-OVC First Team, All-OVC Second Team and All-Midwest Region Third Team. 

Clark played professionally in Italy for New Bollate Lacomes for the 2022 season and on Club de Béisbol y Softball Rivas (Spain) for the 2022 Women’s European Premiere Cup. She finished the tournament with the highest batting average, .556. She also led the field with a 1.652 OPS.

Clark graduated from EKU in 2019 with a degree in middle grade education and earned her master’s from Walden University in School Counseling focusing on crisis and trauma. 

She currently resides in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where she is a middle school teacher at Telesis Preparatory Academy and coaches an Arizona Bombers club team.


Wed., Feb. 8, 2023  

OMAHA — The Bombers of the Heartland Collegiate League rounded out the inaugural coaching staff on Wednesday with the addition of Don Brummer.

Brummer, the current head coach of Millard West High School, reunites with Travis Unzicker and Todd Petersen as the three men coached Nebraska Gold together in the late 2000’s.

Brummer has been at Millard West alongside his wife and co-head coach Angie Brummer for the last 30 years. He has spent 18 years total at the program and was named conference coach of the year in 2019.


The Wildcats have 10 district championships and 12 state tournament appearances with Brummer at the helm. They have finished in the final three twice and in the top four four times.

In his career, Brummer has amassed more than 500 wins with a more than half of them at Millard West. In addition to Nebraska Gold, he spent time with Nebraska Sizzle and Millard Fury. He also spent one season as an assistant at Peru State in 2010.


Thurs., Feb. 2, 2023

Bombers add Todd Petersen, Jordy Bahl’s high school coach, to staff

Omaha — On Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, the Heartland Collegiate League announced Todd Petersen as the second coach for the Bombers. He will join previously announced coach  Travis Unzicker.

Petersen has been the head coach for Papillion La Vista High School since 2007. He has won five state championships and finished runner-up five times as well. The Monarchs program has qualified for 30-straight state tournaments.

Under his leadership, he has seen 57 players continue to play softball in college. Most notable is 2022 NCAA Freshman of the Year and WCWS National Champion, Jordy Bahl (Oklahoma).  Other familiar names include Brooke Dumont (South Dakota State), Karissa Hovinga (Oregon), Courtney Wallace (Nebraska), Maggie Vasa  (Iowa) and Madeline Vejvoda (Creighton).

The historic program has seen four alumnae play in the Women’s College World Series and one, Hovinga, to represent on an international stage when she played with the Canadian National Team.

In addition to leading the Monarchs, Petersen is the Director of Softball Operations for Nebraska Thunder. Prior to his time with Thunder, Petersen coached with the Nebraska Quakes organization and alongside Unzicker with Nebraska Gold.



Bombers announce first coach

OMAHA — The Heartland Collegiate League announced the first of three coaches for the Bombers on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023.

Travis Unzicker, current head coach at Millard North High School in Omaha and former Nebraska Gold head coach, has been named the first official coach in HCL history.

Unzicker has spent 20 years coaching club and high school softball in Nebraska. He coached both of his daughters, Rylie and Madi, who both went on to play at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

He was an assistant coach at Millard South for nine years where he shared multiple Class A State Championships with his daughters.  The Patriots won four-consecutive state titles from 2011-14 and added another in 2016.


Unzicker helped found the Nebraska Gold organization in 2008 when his oldest, Madi, was 15. Since then, the club has taken off and become a perennial powerhouse. 

The first trip to PGF (Premier Girls Fastpitch) Nationals was in 2013 and his squad finished in the Top 10. 

Since then, he has seen the organization blossom into about 20 teams with more than 100 student-athletes continuing to play in college. In 2021, the 18-and-under Gold won the program’s first PGF National Championship.

HCL brings back Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights brand

The Heartland Collegiate League announced the fourth addition to the inaugural 2023 with familiar brand in Omaha.

The Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights were a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League from 2005-07 and the retro logo is an ode to the Omaha Knights (1966-68). 

Ak-Sar-Ben spelled backwards is Nebraska and the team’s nickname comes from an Omaha civic organization, the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben, that was founded in 1895.

Bombers announced as HCL's third team

The HCL introduced its third team of the inaugural 2023 summer on Oct. 28, 2022.

Inspired by nearby Offutt Air Force Base and its history with working on bombers, it was only fitting to have a team named the Bombers.

With the base located in the suburb of Bellevue, the colors are a tribute to the high schools Bellevue West and Bellevue East who are both purple.

Get ready to see this team drop bombs of their own very soon.

HCL introduces second team

The HCL announced the Dundee Dusters as the second team to compete in the inaugural 2023 summer collegiate softball season.

Named for the Dundee neighborhood, home to billionaire business Warren Buffett, in honor of the tornado that ravaged the area in 1919. 

The historic Dundee neighborhood was developed in 1880 and is located in central Omaha and its other claim to fame is a plaque that marks where a Japanese balloon bomb exploded over the area in 1945. 

HCL announces first team

The Heartland Collegiate League announced the Benson Bees as the first team to compete in its inaugural 2023 summer collegiate softball season. 

Inspired by the honeybee, the official state insect of Nebraska, and the neighborhood of Benson. The Benson Bees will be swarming around the ballpark in June.