6-24-2011 Dobson Resigns; Other Updates


June 24, 2011

HATTIESBURG, Miss.Southern Miss softball coach Howard Dobson announced his resignation Friday to pursue another opportunity in collegiate athletics.

“We thank Howard for his loyalty and hard work during his time as softball coach here at the University and we wish he and his family well in their future endeavors,” Southern Miss Director of Athletics Richard Giannini said.

Dobson oversaw the program for four seasons and accumulated a 93-128-2 record. During his tenure, he led the Lady Eagles to four-straight Conference USA tournaments, had seven All Conference-USA selections, three C-USA all-freshmen team picks and the school’s first All-Region first-team player since 2000.

In addition, the Lady Eagles placed three players on the C-USA All-Academic team and one CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.

A national search will begin immediately to find a new coach.

 Bandits’ Monica Abbott strikes out 18 in one-hit complete game shutout

Press Release: AKRON, Ohio — On a night that was tailored towards the Racers’ Lisa Norris, the Bandits’ Monica Abbott stole the show in a 10-0, one-hit gem, highlighted by 18 strikeouts at Firestone Stadium. With the win, the Bandits (6-3) take sole possession of first place in the NPF by a single game over the Racers (5-4). Chicago jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against Lisa Norris (3-2) in the first inning.  An Amber Patton walk set the table for the Rachel Folden two-run home run to right centerfield.

The Bandits’ ace, Abbott (4-1), stormed out of the gate fanning eight of the first 10 Racers she faced. Abbott was practically untouchable on a night where the Racers were unable to extend a runner in scoring position. She struck out the side on four separate occasions (first, fifth, sixth and seventh), leaving the Racers shaking their heads in bewilderment.
Abbott, starting her fourth year in the league, refrains from tracking strikeouts during a game. She cannot recall a night in her collegiate or professional career where she was as dominant as tonight. “Tonight was a good night [for me], but the offense was outstanding,” Abbott said. “The home run by Folden [in the first inning] was huge and it really fired me up.”

Chicago broke out for six runs in the second inning, prompting an early exit for Norris, spoiling her honorary statue night at Firestone Stadium.
With two outs and Jamee Juarez and Caitlin Lever on the corners, Megan Wiggins stroked a single to left, allowing both runners to score after Taylor Schlopy was unable to make a clean play on the ball. The ensuing hitter, Amber Patton kept the rally alive, hitting a line drive into center, driving in Wiggins to make it a 5-0 tally. Norris issued Folden a free pass and ended up paying for it after Alisa Goler connected on a three-run bomb that snuck just inside the right field foul pole.

Carla Brookbank-Schaal came on in mop-up duty to throw four innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out a batter. Wright State grad Sharon Palma came into close out the seventh inning, allowing a hit and striking out Kristine Knauer.

The Racers and Bandits will meet for the second game of the four-game series Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. On Sunday, the Bandits and Racers will meet for a twinbill scheduled to begin at noon. The regularly scheduled game for 2:05 p.m. will follow the make-up game from Thursday night.

USA Softball Completes Day One of Practice; Tickets Still Available for Exhibition Series  The USA Softball Women’s National Team and USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team completed their first day of practice of the 2011 season today and will have one more practice before meeting up for a two-game exhibition series tomorrow, June 25, at 6:00 p.m. Fans will be treated to an autograph session following the double header which will be held at Plant City Stadium in Plant City, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. –

“Today’s practice went really well. I feel like we learned a lot about each other and are really beginning to mesh as a team,” said National Team member Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.). “I know we are all looking forward to more competition and traveling throughout the United States and playing in front of our fans. It’s going to be a great summer for USA Softball.”

Like facebook.com/asausasoftball for all the behind the scenes action from today’s practice including practice footage, and photos!

Florida is one of only four places softball fans can see the best in the world. Tickets will be available at the gate. Click here for prices, directions and location of the event. The two teams will go on to play exhibition series in Salem, Va., and Bowie, Md. The Women’s National Team will also compete in Oklahoma City during the World Cup of Softball.

Highlighting the National Team roster are seven players who made it to the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series including Florida’s Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) who was named Co-MVP of the WCWS. Moultrie shared Co-MVP honors with Arizona State’s Dallas Escobedo (Glendale, Ariz.), who also led ASU to a National title. Escobedo was the first freshman in over 20 years to lead her team to a National Title. Just today she was nominated for an ESPY in the Best Collegiate Female Athlete category. She joins National Team member Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) as USA Softball players to be nominated for the honor.  Langenfeld was nominated in 2010 for her own spectacular performance in the 2010 WCWS.

“I am excited to be here in Tampa playing USA Softball again with my junior girls,” Escobedo said. “We have a great time together. If we take it one day at a time, I know that we have a good chance against the Women’s National Team. I’m confident in myself and my team. I look forward to getting out there tomorrow.”

The next exhibition series will be Wed, June 29 in Salem, Va. Tickets are still available by clicking here. or by calling (540) 389-3333. The final stop before the Women’s National Team heads into International play will be Fri., July 1 in Bowie, Md. For ticket information click here.

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