9-27-2014 Softball Players Killed in Crash

Softball Players Killed in Bus Crashbush crash


Davis, Okla. — Four members of a Texas college softball team were killed after a tractor-trailer crossed the center median and collided with the team’s van Friday night just south of Turner Falls, authorities said.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Ronnie Hampton said three young women — all members of the North Central Texas College softball team — died at the scene following the accident that happened on Interstate 35 about 9 p.m. Friday. A fourth woman died at a hospital.

It was not immediately known how many people were on the bus. None of the victims have been identified.

The softball team was returning to North Central Texas College in Gainseville after playing a scrimmage with Southern Nazarene University in Bethany earlier Friday.

“What we do know is that the semi (truck) was headed north on I-35 when he departed the roadway and entered the southbound lanes,” Hampton told The Oklahoman. “When it impacted the bus, it just kept going and went off the side of road. … We knew we had a two-vehicle accident by what we saw at the scene. … But it took about an hour before we found the semi.”

The front end of the team van was virtually untouched while the sides of the vehicle were heavily damaged. Troopers and witnesses said the driver’s side of the van sustained the worst damage.

Hampton said the van’s driver — who also is the coach of the softball team — declined treatment at the scene and escaped without serious injury. The driver of the tractor-trailer was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

“Right now, it’s being investigated like a homicide,” Hampton said, adding that both drivers will undergo standard toxicology tests. Hampton said details of thecrash were still not known but “something happened to cause (the semi-tractor driver) to depart the roadway and impact the other vehicle.” He said the accident will remain under investigation for several weeks.

A Post on the North Central Texas College Facebook page reads: “We ask for your prayers at this time for our softball team. Their bus has been involved in an accident in Oklahoma.”

The school is expected to release a statement later Saturday.


9-26-2014 SPY Update

SPY September 26 Update

My very creative daughter, Allison, has created a third website, Life of Spy. There are a number of non-softball issues I would like to address, and non-softball stories. The launch has been delayed by my health– the concussion I suffered in Haarlem has affectd my balance, my eyesight, and my ability to focus. More, my primary laptop was infected in the Netherlands — I opened a fake, virus-containing email ostensibly from Interpol (I know the Director quite well).. Had to use a borrowed computer to finish the tournament. Mico Center cleaned the virus ($200) but my PC was disabled by a mdessage purportedly from the FBI also containing a virus. Look for Life of Spy next Tuesday.

Also look for a three-part assessment of Haarlem including editorial comment on Olympic prospects.

Deanna Gumpf Named Inaugural Donna Newberry “Perseverance” Award Winner By The NFCA

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has named University of Notre Dame softball head coach Deanna Gumpf as the recipient of the inaugural Donna Newberry “Perseverance” Award. Gumpf will be formally recognized during the annual NFCA National Convention in Las Vegas this December.

The award was created in honor of longtime Muskingum College coach and 2008 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee Donna Newberry, who died in November 2010 following a battle with breast cancer after compiling a 906-419-1 record over 36 seasons as a head coach. The award recognizes an NFCA member who has demonstrated extraordinary strength of will and character in the fight to overcome a physical, mental or social adversity that presented an additional challenge to the already demanding job of coach.

Gumpf, whose daughter, Tatum, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the summer of 2010 but has been in remission since the fall of 2012, continued her coaching duties during her daughter’s fight. She did not miss a Notre Dame softball contest during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, leading her teams to a combined 86-27 mark and 2011 BIG EAST Conference Coaching Staff of the Year recognition while also caring for Tatum during her rigorous treatment schedule.

Under the direction of Gumpf, the Notre Dame softball program has emerged as one of the national leaders in the sport in its dedication to community service causes across greater Indiana, particularly in support of pediatric cancer patients. Irish softball has raised more than $105,000 since 2011 through its Strikeout Cancer initiative that has directly assisted children in the state of Indiana battling pediatric cancer. Gumpf was honored by the Alliance of Women Coaches at its “The Bigger Picture of Being A Champion” event this past June, which highlighted coaching legends and leaders in a variety of sports who have contributed away from the playing field.

The softball program has received the Notre Dame Trophy Award, established to recognize a University varsity athletics program that exhibits excellence in community service throughout the academic year, in three of the last four years (2011, 2013, 2014).

Gumpf also participated for the second time in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge in August. The Pan-Mass Challenge raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through an annual bike-a-thon that crosses the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and has raised more money than any other charitable cause in the United States.

Newberry, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division III history when she left the game, transitioned the Muskies from a slowpitch team to a perennial fastpitch national contender. She helped guide Muskingum to 17 conference championships, 18 NCAA regional appearances, eight national championship appearances and the 2001 Division III national championship.

Newberry was the only Division III coach to be named national coach of the year in two sports — softball and basketball. As Muskingum’s women’s basketball coach, Newberry earned 403 victories and three conference championships. Her 1991 team finished as the national runner-up, falling to St. Thomas in the Division III title game. Over her distinguished career, she also served as an instructor, coach of field hockey and volleyball, women’s athletics director and assistant athletics director.

While undergoing chemotherapy treatments for her third bout with breast cancer in 2010, Newberry led the Muskies to the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament for the 25th consecutive time. In the months before her death, Muskingum dedicated its softball field in her honor, renaming it the Donna J. Newberry Softball Field, and Newberry finished a book about her coaching career and experiences — “You Must Play to Win: A Coach’s Journey from the Pit to the Pinnacle.”

For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.

On the margins of a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate the first birthday of my grandson Liam Hesse, I journeyed up to Westwood and Easton Stadium to watch the first practiv\ce of the 2015 Bruins, and to visit UCLA’s spectacular new Hall of Fame..There is a John Wooten nexus, but every varsity sport has its nice, including softball. The Bruins have won national championships and those teams and key players are featured. The 2015 pitchers were hitting their marks, led by Ally Carda. 12 I also watched a power-hitting demonstration by Maddy Jelenik. Much appreciated the hospitality by Coach Kelly Inouye and staff. Much of last year’s stellar roster returns; suffice to say, the Bruins will be contenders in 2015.


Seven Earn Inaugural NFCA Assistant Coach Of The Year Honors
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is pleased to expand its recognition of member coaches with the announcement of its inaugural Assistant Coach of the Year winners.
These awards salute the efforts of coaches from the various NFCA membership categories for their tireless dedication to the sport of softball and to the continued education, growth and development of young women, both on and off the playing field. All seven of this year’s first class of recipients played a pivotal role in their team’s success during the 2013-14 softball season.
NCAA Division I: Jen McIntyre, Boston University
McIntyre, recently hired as the head coach at the University of Connecticut, coordinated recruiting, compliance, academics and strength and conditioning, plus coached the outfielders and offense, as the Terriers’ associate head coach this past year under Kathryn Gleason. Beyond her coaching, McIntyre’s energy and positive attitude helped guide Boston University to 36 wins and school records in four offensive categories. The Terriers captured the Patriot League title in their first season in the conference and advanced to the NCAA Regionals at the University of Arizona.
NCAA Division II: Kayla Lucas, Georgia College
Lucas serves as the recruiting coordinator, strength, pitching and outfield coach, and also helps with the Bobcats’ hitters. The pitching staff’s ERA dropped a full run under her tutelage and the team’s batting average improved 19 points from the previous season. One of the squad’s outfielders earned first team NFCA All-America status and she ran the entire softball program during the first six weeks of the school year with head coach Jamie Grodecki out on maternity leave.
NCAA Division III: Beth Bonuso, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Bonuso just finished her 13th season assisting head coach Brenda Volk, primarily with the outfielders, but also spending countless hours on the team’s mental preparation. She produces creative and entertaining PowerPoint presentations for the team each week and Volk credits that mental preparation as a primary factor in the squad’s never-say-die attitude en route to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championship this past spring. Every player listed Bonuso’s mental game work as one of the positive things they took away from a very successful season.
NAIA: Craig Fletcher, William Carey University
Fletcher has done anything and everything that head coach Wendy Hogue has needed over the past eight years. From field maintenance to batting practice to supervising weight room workouts, Fletcher has regularly arrived early and stayed late. Hogue said he has always set the bar high and demanded nothing but the best from his players —13 of which have earned All-America status during his tenure — while at the same time being a positive role model for the team and his family.
NJCAA Division I: Karina Cannon, Odessa College
Cannon’s responsibilities on head coach Joel Prickett’s staff include pitchers, catchers, outfielders, international recruiting, camp administrator, pitch calling and opponent scouting. She has coached one first team and two second team NJCAA All-America pitchers, an All-Region catcher, a pair of NFCA first team All-Region players (one pitcher and catcher), an NFCA second team All-America catcher and a NFCA third team All-America pitcher.
NJCAA Division II: Carie Dever Boaz, Northwest Mississippi Community College
Dever Boaz helped the Rangers set single-season school records in eight offensive categories in her first season assisting head coach Mike Rowan. She has over 20 years of experience as a coach at the high school, collegiate and professional levels and is a well-known clinician and author, with five instructional videos to her credit.
High School: Dawn Dziedzic, Monsignor Donovan (N.J.) Catholic
Dziedzic has assisted head coach Debbie Schwartz with all facets of a school’s softball program for the past 24 years, the first 23 together at Toms River East. On game day, she calls pitches and tracks opposing batters to maximize the team’s attack. She showed loyalty to Schwartz by declining to succeed her as head coach at Toms River — despite Schwartz’s recommendation — because she felt Schwartz was treated unfairly there, and instead moved with Schwartz to Monsignor Donovan.
The winners were nominated by their NFCA member head coach and selected by a panel of their peers on the NFCA Awards Committee. The recipients are all active NFCA members.
WBSC press release
Netherlands win European baseball title before packed stadium and strong TV audiences, highlighting growing popularity and competitiveness of baseball/softball in Europe in countdown to historic Olympic 2020 decision

- Europe embracing baseball and softball, says WBSC President Fraccari

- Latest World Baseball Rankings released — Five Europeans nations now featured in Top 20

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Netherlands won the 2014 European Baseball Championship by defeating arch-rival Italy 6-3 in the finale, which was played before a full MBS Stadium in Brno, Czech Republic. The match was broadcast nationally in the Netherlands via NOS and in Italy via Fox2. (See photos.)

The successful European championship involving two of Europe’s leading sporting and Olympic nations — the Netherlands and Italy — follows recent headlines by the BBC, France24 and Russia Beyond the Headlines that the sport of baseball/softball is experiencing a steady rise in popularity and participation levels in Europe, particularly among the youth.

Forty-five matches were contested at the XXXIII European Baseball Championship, which was co-hosted in the cities of Brno and Ostrava, Czech Republic and Regensburg, Germany.

As well as growing popularity, the European and other international championships have highlighted the increasing competitiveness of the European continent and European baseball nations, which is shaping a new world order and a global restructuring of the bat-and-ball sports, according to World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari.

Baseball and softball, along with other sports, are hoping to be eligible for possible Olympic consideration at the Tokyo 2020 Games, pending discussion of a more flexible Olympic sports selection process at the IOC extraordinary session in Monaco in December.

“The growing competitiveness of baseball and softball in new and non-traditional territories, and world regions such as Europe, has been driven by increasing popularity and development of the bat-and-ball sports through well-organised National Federations, professional and youth league partners, grassroots clubs, competitions, coaching, new playing facilities and community interest — which is maximising the appeal of our sport to young people, sponsors and broadcasters,” Fraccari said.

“The expanding global spread of nations performing in final rounds of international championships is showcasing baseball and softball to new domestic and international audiences and generating increasing interest and participation in bat-and-ball sports, especially among young people, and women in Muslim countries. We are very encouraged by the steady progress being made in Africa — and in Europe, the cradle of modern sport, which is now embracing softball and baseball,” he said.

Within the last few years alone, a number of new baseball/softball venues have been born around the world, with historic firsts in Ghana and Uganda, Africa — and in Europe, in places like Brest, Belarus; Essex and Farnham, U.K.; Hoofddorp, Netherlands; Mainz, Germany; Parma, Italy; Sundbyberg, Sweden; and Vác, Hungary.

“Our sport has never been more universal than it is today — across both genders — which highlights the excellent strategic planning and commitment of our National Federations and our global stakeholders to advancing baseball and softball in Europe and around the world, and in attracting young talented athletes to our sport,” Fraccari said.

The wave of growth in Europe recently saw the Confederation of European Baseball celebrate the opening of its new headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia and launching of a new website.

Europe has now surpassed Asia with a total of five nations within the Top 20; Asia currently features four nations among the world’s twenty best, according the latest Official World Baseball Rankings released today by the WBSC, following the results of the European championship.

The Netherlands’ continued success on the international stage, including capturing the world title in 2011 and placing 4th at the 2013 World Baseball Classic, has boosted the Dutch’s ranking to fifth in the world — the highest-ever ranking for a European nation.

The Netherlands is now ranking just behind USA, Japan, Cuba and Chinese Taipei, and ahead of other established powerhouses like Canada, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and South Korea, which make up the Top 10.

The Top 20 also includes Israel’s historic breakthrough to No. 19 — which has generated media attention in Israel (see Jerusalem Post article: “Israel baseball rises to 19th in world rankings”).

No. 22 ranked Great Britain finished 9th in the European Championship and recently inaugurated the U.K’s newest baseball/softball facility in Essex, which will boost further development in the region.

The European championship also followed the first-ever international baseball competition hosted by France, which showcased the new baseball venue in Senart — which lies a short distance from Paris. The international baseball series — which featured Belgium, France, Netherlands and a professional club from Japan — was an unprecedented event in France.

The European Championship ran from 12-21 September and featured the twelve National Teams of Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

Italy’s silver at the European showcase locks their ranking at No. 11 in the world and helps better secure their position to be one of the top 12 nations that will qualify for the new flagship event, the Premier 12, which will be launched in November 2015 in Taiwan.

Spain earned the bronze medal in Brno and has risen to No. 16 in the world — Spain’s highest ever ranking.

Co-host Germany placed 5th, behind fellow co-host Czech Republic. The German squad was Europe’s top performer, finishing 9th out of 18 nations, at last month’s high-octane U-15 Baseball World Cup in Mexico, which has elevated Germany to their best-ever world ranking, at No. 17.

The European championship also followed softball’s flagship event, the Women’s Softball World Championship, which was hosted in Europe for the first time in history, in Haarlem, Netherlands last month.

The World Baseball Rankings will be next updated following the Asian Games — Asia’s pinnacle multi-sport spectacle — where baseball and softball are currently being featured on the sports programme together.

(Spy publishes these WBSC reports without edit, but we feel constrained to mention that many of the countries which are featured in baseball do not play competitive softball.)


9-26-2014 NCAA Coaching Transactions

reported by NFCA
September 2014
AMHERST – Named Brandeis head coach Jessica Johnson to the same position.
BETHEL – Named former Appalachian State University assistant Penny Foore as head coach.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY – Named former Michigan State player and West Alabama assistant Megan Darhower as an assistant coach.
BRANDEIS – Named former Brandeis player and assistant Brittany Grimm as interim head coach.
GEORGE WASHINGTON – Named former Georgia player and South Carolina volunteer assistant Laura Trout and former Purdue player Lauren Grant as assistant coaches.
GUILFORD COLLEGE – Named former Western Carolina and Memphis player Kelly Braman and former University of North Carolina player and North Carolina Dominators coach Anna Mitchell as assistant coaches.
MASSACHUSETTS – Named former Washington player Kaitlin Inglesby as an assistant coach.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE – Named former Wisconsin player and student assistant Kendall Grimm as graduate assistant.
NORTH GEORGIA – Named former North Georgia player and Radford assistant Sarah Phillips as an assistant coach.
OHIO – Named former Ohio player and Neuman University assistant Jillian Van Wagnen as an assistant coach.
TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO – Named Pittsburg State assistant coach Cayte Billman to the same position.
WILLIAM CAREY – Elevated assistant coach Craig Fletcher to head coach.

August 2014
ALABAMA STATE – Named Auburn University Montgomery head coach Chris Steiner Wilcoxson to the same position.
BETHUNE-COOKMAN – Named former Bethune-Cookman and Maryland head coach Laura Watten to the same position.
BOISE STATE – Named Cal State Northridge assistant Cindy Ball as head coach.
BUTLER – Named former Northwestern assistant coach Jenna Grim to the same position.
COPPIN STATE – Named Marshalltown Community College head coach Ty Robinson to the same position.
CHRISTIAN BROTHERS UNIVERSITY -Named Chowan head coach Mandi Balduf to the same position.
DARTMOUTH – Named Amherst College head coach Shannon Doepking to the same position.
DAYTON – Named former Illinois State player and graduate assistant Tiffany Prager as an assistant coach.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL – Named former Miami Stingrays coach Gator Rebhan as head coach.
FRAMINGHAM STATE – Named SUNY Cortland assistant coach Larry Miller as head coach.
GEORGIA – Named recent USC Upstate volunteer assistant Rick Pauly as assistant coach.
HAMPTON – Named former Temple University head coach Joe DiPietro to the same position.
HOFSTRA – Named Mississippi assistant Julie Meyer and former N.C. State player Caitlin Dent as assistant coaches.
ILLINOIS STATE – Named former Illinois State player Megan Warner as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
INDIANA STATE – Named former South Dakota State and Iowa player Samantha Heinzman as assistant coach.
LAFAYETTE – Named former DeSales player and assistant coach Kristin Schultz and former Marshall player and Belmont and IPFW assistant coach Mandee Luers as assistant coaches.
PITTSBURGH – Named former Delaware assistant coach Lauren Cognigni to the same position.
PITTSBURGH-GREENSBURG – Named Towson director of softball operations Lindsay Freitag as head coach.
ROBERT MORRIS – Named former Robert Morris player Erica List as assistant coach.
SONOMA STATE – Named former Northern Colorado volunteer assistant Kaelene Curry as assistant coach.
SIOUX FALLS – Named former Missouri player Megan Christopher-Hoch as assistant coach.
SOUTHERN MISS – Named William Carey head coach Wendy Hogue to the same position.
TEXAS-DALLAS – Named former Baylor pitcher and McLennan Community College pitching coach Jenny Isham-Fuller as assistant coach.
UC DAVIS – Named Boise State head coach Erin Thorpe to the same position.
WAYNESBURG – Named South Fayette High School and former University of Rhode Island assistant coach Richele Hall as head coach.

July 2014
ACADEMY OF ART – Named former San Francisco State player and Cal State Monterey Bay assistant coach Sonja Garnett as head coach.
AKRON – Named former Florida Southern/NPF player and UConn assistant coach Dr. Megan Brown to the same position.
ALDERSON BROADDUS – Named former Central Christian College head coach Chad Kerr to the same position.
ARKANSAS – Named Randi Davis as an assistant/pitching coach.
BARUCH COLLEGE – Promoted former Baruch player and assistant coach Melanie Pellegrino to the head coaching position.
CAL-BERKELEY – Named former Arizona State associate head coach Chuck D’Arcy as assistant coach.
COE COLLEGE – Named former Coe player and assistant coach Diane Meyer as head coach, replacing the retiring Bob Timmons.
COLUMBIA – Named former Indiana Wesleyan player and Buffalo head coach Jennifer Teague to the same position.
GREEN BAY – Named former Maine player and assistant coach Beth Spoehr as head coach, succeeding the retired Jean Rivett.
HAVERFORD COLLEGE – Named former Fordham player and Pacific Lutheran head coach Erin Brooks to the same position.
IOWA – Named former Alabama volunteer assistant coach Adam Arbour as an assistant coach.
IP FORT WAYNE – Named former Tulsa player and, most recently, Fairleigh Dickinson assistant coach Germaine Fairchild as head coach.
JACKSONVILLE – Named former Longwood player and assistant coach Jennifer Steele as head coach and former George Washington recruiting coordinator Dan Sperl as assistant coach.
KANSAS – Named former Stanford head coach John Rittman as associate head coach.
LINDENWOOD – Named Michael Reese and former Louisville player Kristin Miller as assistant coaches.
LOUISVILLE – Named former Iowa player and assistant coach Stacy May-Johnson to the same position.
LOUISVILLE – Named former Missouri/Mississippi State head coach and NFCA Hall of Famer Jay Miller as assistant coach.
LYCOMING – Promoted former Mansfield player and Lycoming interim head coach Melissa Baer tohead coach.
MARYLAND – Named former Cal-Berkeley player and Louisville assistant coach Courtney Scott as head coach.
MINNESOTA-CROOKSTON – Named former Louisburg College head coach Don Stopa to the same position.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Named former Oklahoma player and Wichita State assistant coach Samantha Ricketts to the same position.
NORTHERN KENTUCKY – Named former Southern Illinois player and Wisconsin-Parkside head coach Laura “Flipp” Fillipp as assistant coach.
RADFORD – Named former Radford player and volunteer assistant coach Jackie Jenkins as assistant coach.
SAMFORD – Named former Florida and current Team USA player Michelle Moultrie as assistant coach.
SOUTH ALABAMA – Named former LSU and current National Pro Fastpitch player Rachele Fico as assistant coach.
SOUTHERN ARKANSAS – Named former Northwestern Oklahoma State head coach Jason Anderson to the same position.
SOUTHERN UTAH – Named former Oklahoma State assistant coach Tom Gray as head coach.
STANFORD – Named former Trinity player and Dartmouth head coach Rachel Hanson to the same position.
SUNY NEW PALTZ – Named former North Carolina player and interim head coach Brittany Robinson as head coach.
TEXAS A&M – Named former Georgia associate head coach Gerry Glasco to the same position.
TOLEDO – Named former Florida player and Charleston Southern assistant coach Kristen Butler as head coach.
UAB – Named former UAB player and student assistant Amanda Ellis as assistant coach and former UAB player and assistant coach Lucy Bass as the director of operations.
UMASS-LOWELL – Named former UMass player and associate head coach Danielle Henderson as head coach.
UNIV. OF PIKEVILLE – Named former Georgia Tech player and Evansville assistant coach Christine Sheridan as head coach.
USC UPSTATE – Named former Virginia Tech player and ETSU assistant/pitching coach Kenzie Roark to the same position.
UTEP – Named former UMass player and Lafayette College assistant/pitching coach Sara Plourde to the same position.
VALPARAISO – Named former Illinois State player and Hofstra assistant coach Kate Stake as head coach.
VIRGINIA TECH – Named former Presbyterian assistant coach Justin Miller to the same position.
WASHINGTON – Named former Oregon pitching coach Mike Roberts to the same position.
WISCONSIN-STEVENS POINT – Named former Wisconsin-Oshkosh player and Marian head coach Ashley Steltenpohl as head coach.

June 2014
BRIDGEWATER (Va.) – Named former Missouri-St. Louis assistant coach Kim McCall as head coach, succeeding the retired Donnie Fulk.
BUENA VISTA UNIVERSITY – Named former Missouri Western State player and assistant coach Mandie Berneking as head coach.
CAMPBELL – Named former Campbell associate head coach Todd Bradley as head coach.
COKER COLLEGE – Named former King University assistant coach Travis McCall as head coach, succeeding the retiring David Hanna.
DRAKE – Announced the hiring of former SIUE player and Drake volunteer assistant Kasey Griffith as an assistant coach.
EMBRY-RIDDLE – Named former Alabama player and Oklahoma State assistant coach Kelsi Dunne as head coach.
KANSAS – Named former Southern Illinois player and Texas A&M associate head coach Mary Jo Firnbach to the same position.
LOUISIANA-MONROE – Named former Southern Arkansas head coach Corey Lyon to the same position, succeeding the retired Rosemary Holloway-Hill.
MASSACHUSETTS – Named former UMass player and interim head coach Kristi Stefanoni as head coach.
MCNEESE STATE – Named former McNeese State assistant coach Joanna Hardin as head coach.
MICHIGAN STATE – Named former Purdue and Oklahoma assistant JT Gasso to the same position.
MOUNT OLIVE – Named former Glenville State head coach Mandy Sansbury to the same position, succeeding Jaime Kylis-Higginbotham, who stepped down in May.
OKLAHOMA STATE – Named former South Alabama assistant coach Mark Ryal to the same position.
SACRAMENTO STATE – Named former Sacramento State player and interim head coach Lori Perez as head coach.
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE – Named former Evansville head coach Mark Redburn to the same position.
TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE – Named former Lipscomb player and Seton Hall assistant coach Betsy White-Dean as head coach.
TEXAS TECH – Named former Texas A&M player and Sam Houston State assistant coach Adrian Gregory as head coach.
TROY – Named former UAB player and Mississippi State assistant coach Beth Mullins as head coach.
UAB – Named former UAB player and Ball State assistant coach Erica Sisson to the same position.


8-27-2014 Did Japan’s ISF Win Boost 2020


Japan’s gold at Women’s Softball World Championship drives interest in return of Softball, Baseball at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- Softball world title staged in Europe for first time showcases growth of women’s sport in new markets
HAARLEM, Netherlands — Japan defeated the United States, 4-1, to win the first ever Women’s Softball World Championship held in Europe, highlighting softball’s continued expansion beyond traditional geographic boundaries as one of the world’s most commercially successful, and popular spectator and participation sports for women, young girls and families.

Australia earned the bronze to spread the medal distribution of the women’s championship among the Americas, Asia and Oceania. (See Photos.)

“We are developing the sports of softball and baseball in many areas such as the Muslim world, in Africa, and in Europe where interest, awareness, and club numbers and players are continuing to grow on this historic, sports loving continent, the cradle of modern sport,”said World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President, Riccardo Fraccari.

Japan, the 2008 Olympic softball champions, finished softball’s pinnacle global event with a perfect tournament record of 10-0, fueling further national speculation, interest and excitement in Japan about the possible inclusion of softball and baseball, the two most popular sports in the 2020 Olympic host nation, at the Tokyo Games.

With the Olympic sports selection process up for discussion at the IOC Session in Monaco in December, leadership of the WBSC, the recently merged international baseball and softball confederation, remains committed to working with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers to earn the honour of having the sports included at the Olympic Games.

“Japan, like many other countries around the world, is a baseball and softball nation, and we are doing all we can to maximize the added-value that our bat-and-ball sports would deliver to the Olympic Games,” President Fraccari said.

“We believe that the deep national history, pride and passion for baseball and softball in Japan, at all levels of Japanese society, would enable these sports to bring great value and enhance the Olympic experience at the Tokyo Games and for the 2020 Olympic host nation of Japan.”

“The ten-day spectacle of women’s sport highlighted softball’s growing global popularity as one of the world’s premier sports for women,” said Dale McMann, WBSC Executive Vice President.

The XIV Women’s Softball Championship featured sixteen national teams — the maximum allowed — from five world regions, and included Australia, Botswana, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia and United States.

“This was a premium event, with teams from three different continents in the top three,” said Low Beng Choo, WBSC Secretary General.

“The medal distribution from the Americas to Asia and Oceania highlights the global spread and excellence of the sport and the athletes, and increases opportunities and awareness of women’s sport,” Low said.

The attention will now shift to Miyazaki, Japan for the ENEOS Presents Women’s Baseball World Cup 2014, which begins September 1.

* 14th Women’s Softball World Championship
Final Standings
1. Japan
2. United States
3. Australia
4. Canada
5. Chinese Taipei
6. Netherlands
7. China
8. New Zealand
9. Cuba
11. Czech Republic
12. Dominican Republic
13. Russia
14. Botswana
15. Puerto Rico
16. Great Britain



USA Softball’s Valerie Arioto named Sportswoman of the Year award finalist; Vote for Val!


OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball Women’s National Team first baseman Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) has been selected as a finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswomen of the Year award in the team sport category the Women’s Sports Foundation announced today. A member of the USA Softball Women’s National Team since 2011, Arioto was selected based on her achievements between August 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014.


Arioto helped Team USA capture a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games Qualifier in August 2013, where she batted .500 with five home runs, 18 RBI and 13 runs scored. Most recently, Arioto helped lead the 2014 USA Softball Women’s National Team to a Gold Medal at the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX in Irvine, Calif. The University of California – Berkley grad turned in a .400 performance at the plate, sending five balls out of the park to record 12 RBI while scoring seven runs. Arioto finished the General Tire World Cup IX with a 1.400 slugging percentage and a 1.926 on-base percentage.


A two-time USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year, Arioto also earned a silver medal at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International this past July where she continued to shine in the batter’s box. Arioto compiled a .474 batting average with five home runs, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored.


The Sportswoman of the Year award winners will be determined by a combination of a public vote (50%) and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Awards Committee’s vote (50%). The winners will be the two athletes – one individual sport finalist and one team sport finalist – who receive the highest combined share of a public vote and the Awards Committee vote. Voting has already begun, and fans can visit http://wspr.tc/VoteTeamSOY2014 to cast their vote for the Sportswoman of the Year award. Fan voting will conclude on September 8.


The winner in each category will be invited to attend the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 15 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, where they will accept their awards.


Past USA Softball Women’s National Team members who have won the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswomen of the Year award include Lisa Fernandez (1994), Cat Osterman (2005), Monica Abbott (2007), and Jessica Mendoza (2008).