9-28-2015 Tokyo Proposes Baseball/Softball for 2020





LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today joined players and leadership from leagues around the world in welcoming the landmark decision by the hosts of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to propose adding baseball/softball among five new sports for the Games in 2020.


Tokyo 2020 said in a statement: “This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally. They will serve as a driving force to further promote the Olympic Movement and its values, with a focus on youth appeal, and will add value to the Games by engaging the Japanese population and new audiences worldwide, reflecting the Tokyo 2020 Games vision.”


The top sport in Japan, baseball/softball is the biggest sport not currently featured at the Olympic Games — particularly in terms of youth participation in actual organised competition, as the vast majority of baseball/softball’s estimated 65 million athletes in over 140 countries are between the ages of 5 to 21.


Tokyo 2020′s proposal for additional events must be reviewed, voted upon and formally approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next August ahead of the 2016 Games.


“Tokyo 2020′s decision to propose our sport is a ‘home run’ and giant leap forward for baseball and softball,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “On behalf of WBSC and our athletes, I would like to thank Tokyo 2020 as well as IOC President Thomas Bach, whose Olympic Agenda 2020 vision has paved the way for this extraordinary opportunity. The entire baseball and softball world is excited and ready to cross the Olympic home plate. But above all, I am happy for all our male and female athletes who today can see there is a real chance to fulfil their greatest dream of representing their country in the most important sporting spectacle there is — the Olympic Games.”


Japanese National Team 2008 Olympic softball gold medallist Yukiko Ueno stated, “Everybody in baseball and softball has their sights on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and wants to play for gold in front of some of the best crowds in the world.”


Cuba’s star baseball pitcher Yosvani Torres (world No. 3 Cuban National Team member and 2014 Most Valuable Player of the Cuban National Series with club Pinar del Río) expressed, “The National Baseball Team is a great source of pride for our entire country and it would be the highest honour/duty and thrilling to represent my country and our sport in the Olympics — the pinnace of sports.”  


Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred said: “Today’s announcement by Tokyo 2020 to include baseball/softball into its proposal for additional events at the 2020 Olympic Games is an exciting step forward to hopefully seeing our game return to this great platform. We look forward to the IOC’s decision in August 2016.”


Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki, stated, “The recommendation today from Tokyo 2020 to restore Olympic baseball and softball has drawn attention here in Japan as well as globally.  United with WBSC and our colleagues from around the world, baseball and softball want to shine bright for Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Movement moving forward.”


WBSC President Fraccari added: “Baseball and softball’s global position, expansion and opportunities today are thanks to all of our partners’ contributions and a shared vision to return our sport to the highest stage in sports, the Olympic Games. And we will do everything possible so that baseball and softball, if included, are a great attraction/success for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and IOC’s Agenda 2020, as it remains WBSC’s top priority to demonstrate that our sport aligns with the Olympic Movement and has the qualities to earn a place on the Olympic programme in 2020 and in future Games.”


WBSC’s previous Olympic bid, which proposed baseball and softball for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, earned the second-highest amount of votes at the 2013 IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, finishing behind wrestling.



8-26-2015 Bruggeman Interim Exec at NFCA


Carol Bruggeman Named NFCA’s Interim Executive Director

August 26, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -The NFCA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Carol Bruggeman as the Association’s Interim Executive Director, following the resignation of longtime Executive Director Lacy Lee Baker.


Bruggeman, who joined the NFCA as Associate Executive Director in September 2014, is a longtime NCAA Division I coach at Michigan, Purdue and Louisville, and a well-respected national speaker, clinician, educator and author.


“I am humbled and honored to serve as Interim NFCA Executive Director,” Bruggeman said. “I would like to thank the NFCA Board of Directors for this opportunity and I look forward to working with our dedicated NFCA staff as we move through this transition. I would also like to thank Lacy Lee Baker for her dedication and service to the NFCA.”


She is certainly no stranger to the Association, having been an active member for 25 years while unselfishly serving the NFCA in numerous capacities. She had a four-year term as president and stints as both the Past-President and Fourth Vice President on the NFCA’s Board of Directors, and also spent time as the Board’s Division I Representative. She has continued to be a featured instructor at numerous National Fastpitch Coaches College courses and national clinics around the country.


“The NFCA Board of Directors believed there was one clear choice to guide the organization during this transition, Carol Bruggeman,” NFCA Board of Directors President Rhonda Revelle said. “Carol, as the NFCA’s first Associate Executive Director, and as a longtime NFCA Board Member, has an understanding of the inner workings of the Association, and has the leadership skills to keep us moving in a positive direction. We are so grateful that Carol accepted the Interim Executive Director position, and we look forward to serving alongside her on behalf of the NFCA.”


Bruggeman has also served as the color analyst for ESPN, Big Ten and SEC Network broadcasts. She also co-produced Level 1 and Level 2 instructional DVDs on softball-specific athlete development and has produced instructional DVDs focusing on baserunning and defense. In July 2011, Bruggeman traveled to Australia as head coach of the college team that won a gold medal with USA-Athletes International and she traveled to the Czech Republic in 2009 in the same role.


During her career, Bruggeman has been a part of over 700 victories, and has had a hand in many conference titles and coached numerous NFCA All-Americans.


As an infielder at the University of Iowa, she was an All-Big Ten and All-Mideast Region selection, as well as an Academic All-American and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, who received Iowa’s Athletic Academic Medal of Honor. In 1997, Bruggeman was inducted into the Iowa Softball Association Hall of Fame.


A native of Charter Oak, Iowa, she received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business from Iowa in 1987 and continued her education at Iowa, earning a master’s in athletic administration and coaching in 1990.


Plot lines worthy of a French novel – but who played Machiavelli?




Duke Tabs Young as Program’s First Head Coach


Category: NCAA I News

Created: 29 July 2015



DURHAM, N.C. – Former Big Ten Player of the Year Marissa Young will be the first head softball coach at Duke University, announced by Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White on Wednesday. Young spent the past two years as an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina.

The Blue Devils are scheduled to open varsity play during the 2017-18 academic year. Eleven current ACC schools sponsor softball including Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

“In Marissa Young, Duke was able to secure the talents of one of the brightest young stars in the softball coaching profession,” Dr. White said. “Her pedigree as both a coach and a player is simply spectacular. Having played for, and excelled in, one of the premier programs in America at Michigan, Marissa understands winning at the highest level of college softball.  Even more impressive is her advocacy, energy and passion for student-athletes.  Unequivocally, we believe she is the right coach to build an amazing softball program from the ground up here at Duke. We are ecstatic she is joining the Duke family.”

“First and foremost I want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity,” Young said. “I am honored by Dr. White’s belief in me and entrusting me to start the softball program at Duke. Starting a program is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but to do it at one of the nation’s most prestigious schools academically and athletically is a dream come true.  Success is not a single event but a process.  After meeting with Dr. White, I was confident in his visionary leadership and commitment to the process of making Duke Softball successful.  The excitement on campus and within the athletic department about the start of our program has been astounding. I look forward to building this program from the ground up and to carry on the successful tradition of Duke athletics both on and off the field.

Young was a three-time All-America selection as a pitcher at the University of Michigan and was named the 2002 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and 2003 Big Ten Player of the Year. At North Carolina, her primary responsibilities included coaching the pitchers and catchers.

In the spring of 2015, Young helped the Tar Heels to a 37-16 overall record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament after the squad won 24 contests the prior season. Young’s pitchers posted a 3.30 earned run average with 234 strikeouts in 335.1 innings pitched.

Young spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan, where she served as the compliance liaison, recruiting coordinator and managed team travel and the operational budget, among other duties.  She helped coach five Academic All-America picks and five player of the week selections during her tenure at Eastern Michigan.

Prior to her stint at EMU, Young was the head coach at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich., from 2008-11. In less than three years, she turned the 2-20 program to a 23-23 record, the second-most wins in a single season since an appearance in the 2002 NAIA National Tournament.

Young graduated from Michigan in 2003 as the all-time strikeout leader (927) and her 88 career wins became the second highest in program history. She also matched the then-program single-season home run record with 13 in 2003.

Young played two years of professional softball, one overseas in Italy and the second year with the Texas Thunder of the National Pro Fastpitch.

A native of Santa Ana, Calif., Young has three children: Layla, Jolyna and Kayden.

In addition to the hiring of Young, plans for a new softball stadium are already in progress. The program is scheduled to allot the NCAA maximum 12 scholarships within the first four years of competition. Currently, Duke fields a club softball team that doesn’t provide scholarships or compete on the varsity level — an NCAA Associate Club sport that competes against similar teams from other universities.






Aug. 11, 2015

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith announced the hiring of Taryne Mowatt and Ruben Felix as full-time assistant coaches for the softball program on Friday. Mowatt brings her experience as a former All-American pitcher to the Rebels, while Felix has been promoted from the volunteer assistant coach position he held last season.

Mowatt was recently an assistant coach at California Baptist for three seasons, helping the team to NCAA regional appearances each year along with PacWest Conference championships in 2012 and 2014. As the team’s pitching coach, Mowatt instructed a pitching staff that consisted of program-record holders for wins, innings pitched and complete games. She also coached a conference pitcher of the year, freshman pitcher of the year, and three all-conference honorees.

“I am excited to welcome Taryne to our softball program here at Ole Miss,” said Coach Smith. “As a national champion and All-American, Taryne has transferred her success as a player to now coaching collegiate pitchers. Her accomplishments on the field prove that hard work and dedication pays off, and she is a valuable addition to the team.”

During her playing days, Mowatt was unstoppable in the circle as she led the University of Arizona to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, she collected numerous awards after breaking single-season school records for innings pitched (370), strikeouts (522) and victories (42). Mowatt was named Most Valuable Player at the Women’s College World Series, setting four tournament records during the Wildcats’ 2007 national title run. After a season that went down as one of the best in NCAA softball history, Mowatt collected two ESPY awards as the Best Female Athlete and the Best Female College Athlete.

Following her successful collegiate career, Mowatt was selected in the first round of the 2008 National Pro Fastpitch Draft. She played for five teams throughout her six years as a professional, including one season in Holland competing for the Den Bosch Gryphons. In National Pro Fastpitch, Mowatt spent time with the Washington Glory, Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits and New York Comets.

Mowatt received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Arizona in 2009.

Felix, a former Major League Baseball coach, joined the Ole Miss Softball staff as the Rebels’ Volunteer Coach/Camp Coordinator for the 2015 campaign after four seasons as the top softball assistant coach & recruiting coordinator at the University of Central Florida. In two of his last three seasons at UCF, Felix helped the Knights advance to the NCAA tournament.

“Ruben was an irreplaceable asset for us last season, and he is well-deserving of this promotion to a full-time assistant coach,” noted Coach Smith. “His knowledge of the game helped our program reach new heights in 2015, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in year two with Ruben on staff.”

In his first season with the Rebels, Felix helped guide the Rebels to a record-setting season offensively as Ole Miss set the mark in every offensive category. Felix also helped guide the Rebels to the program’s fourth SEC Tournament appearance in school history and tied the single-season mark for wins.

Felix graduated from Texas Tech University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies. Felix has been married for 16 years to his wife, Michelle, who is a nurse at the Oxford Children’s Clinic. They have one son, Matthew Ripken Felix.





8-24-2015 Lacey Lee Baker Resigns


Lacy Lee Baker Resigns as NFCA Executive Director

August 24, 2015

After 21 years as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Executive Director, Lacy Lee Baker has announced her resignation, effective August 31.


Baker, a 2014 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee, joined the Association in 1994 as its second full-time executive director, two years before a name change from the National Softball Coaches Association.


“I feel good about where the Association is now, and with an outstanding staff and continued board support, I’m sure the NFCA will continue to grow and succeed,” Baker said.  “I’m very proud of moving the Association to a permanent home in Louisville, Kentucky, and I feel with that stability, the NFCA and the sport can reach even greater heights. It has truly been my honor to serve fastpitch softball coaches all these years and be a small part of the tremendous growth the sport has achieved,” Baker continued.


Under her direction, the Association has expanded greatly both in services provided and membership numbers, going from a group of 1,372 members when she started, to the 3,800-plus members the NFCA serves today. The Association has grown from its founding as a college coaches’ organization to a group now that serves the needs of all coaches in the fastpitch community — from youth to high school to travel ball and college — as well as hundreds of affiliate members.


The annual NFCA National Convention has grown as well during her tenure, with last December’s edition in Las Vegas setting a record for both attendees (1,450) and vendors (130 companies).  She also started the NFCA’s monthly publication, Fastpitch Delivery, and was responsible for the NFCA’s first web site in the 1990s through the redesigned NFCA.org that launched this summer.


With the Board of Directors, she helped establish the Association’s written purpose: “To support fastpitch softball coaches in their quest for excellence, while uniting together to advance the sport we love,” and had been working at the time of her decision with the NFCA Board of Directors to spell out the Association’s vision for the future.


“Lacy Lee’s service and dedication to the NFCA has been unparalleled as she has invested her heart and soul into this organization for over two decades,” NFCA Board of Directors President Rhonda Revelle said. “She has been the driving force of positioning the NFCA where is stands today. Myself, and the NFCA Board of Directors are grateful and appreciative of Lacy Lee’s contributions to ‘advancing the sport we all love,’ and we wish her nothing but the very best in the next chapter of her life.”


Baker’s first job in sports was in 1978 as an assistant sports information director at San Diego State. In 1980, she became Director of Publications at Stanford University and she joined the staff of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee in 1983 as the project manager and editor of Olympic Record, the daily newspaper for the 1984 Olympic Games.


In 1985, she joined the staff at the NCAA, working first in publications, before moving on to assistant and associate director of championship positions, where she worked with the NCAA’s three softball championships and as the liaison to the National Softball Coaches Association.


Her husband, Jay Miller, a 2008 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee, is the pitching coach at the University of Louisville and their daughter, Nikki Miller, is an assistant coach at Wittenberg University

Spy Note: Neither the press nor Revelle indicated what that next chapter might be, or why the short time window.

8-17-015 Bandits Edge Pride 1-0 for NPF Title



Aided by Pride errors, and another standout performance by Monica Abbott, the Chicago Bamdits edged USSSA Pride 1-0, to claim the 20015 NPF title. Abbott held Pride to 2 hits. Catherine Osterman, in her last professional game, yielded 4 hits, fanned 6 while Abbott struck out 8.

In the 2nd, Galasso reached on a throwing error by Osterman; Williams scored but Zymkowitz was out at home on a good play by catcher Megan Willis. Osterman survived a potential break-open play in the 5th; bases loaded, Moss lined into an unassisted double play by Shipman.

Again, very sparse crowd. Is Hoover Alabama the best market for such high level play?