Category Archives: NCAA

National Champion Oklahoma schedule

NORMAN – Seventeen opponents that reached the 2016 NCAA Softball Tournament, including an early rematch against national runner-up Auburn, and the return of the Big 12 Softball Championship highlight the defending national champion University of Oklahoma softball team’s 2017 schedule.

It’ll be the 23rd season for the Sooners under the direction of head coach Patty Gasso. OU has reached the postseason in each of her previous 22 seasons, including seven straight trips to the Super Regionals, 10 appearances overall in the Women’s College World Series and three national titles.

The season starts for the Sooners Feb. 9-11 at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Playing outside the United States for the first time in program history, OU faces a loaded field with all four opponents reaching the postseason a year ago. The season begins against BYU, followed by a rematch against an Auburn team that OU beat in the Women’s College World Series Championship Series in 2016. The tournament then closes out with games against Nebraska and Washington, the latter of whom reached the Super Regionals a year ago.

From there, Oklahoma takes part in the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic, Feb. 17-18. In addition to two games against the host-Cougars, the Sooners are scheduled to face Incarnate Word and Ole Miss, who lost two games to OU during the 2016 Regionals.

OU then makes its annual trip to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., Feb. 23-25, where it will face a daunting field for the second time in the first three weeks of the year. After opening against Louisville, the Sooners match up against perennial powers Tennessee, Missouri and WCWS-participant UCLA before closing out against San Diego State.

After a road contest against another opponent from the 2016 Norman Regional, Wichita State, on March 1, the Sooners open their home schedule on March 3 with the Courtyard Marriott Tournament. Northwestern State, Evansville and Western Kentucky are all scheduled to visit Norman as part of the tournament schedule.

Intrastate foe Tulsa visits Norman March 8 to complete OU’s rematches against teams it hosted during last year’s Regionals, before Omaha and Illinois-Chicago come to town March 10-12 for another home tournament.

Spring break hits the week of March 13-19 and Oklahoma will be spending it in California with seven games on the docket. On March 14, OU will take part in a tournament on Long Beach State’s campus against the 49ers and Arizona. Both teams made the postseason a year ago with the Wildcats advancing to the Super Regionals.

From there, OU travels to Los Angeles for a tournament hosted by Loyola Marymount, March 16-18. The Sooners open against postseason participant Cal State Bakersfield before facing the host-Lions, Cal Poly and DePaul.

The Sooners then return home for their final tournament of the season, the College Preview Tournament, March 24-26. OU faces Mississippi State at home before venturing up the road to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City to meet Louisiana Tech and UAB. The weekend concludes with a second matchup against UAB at Marita Hynes Field.

Aside from a road game at North Texas on March 28 and a home game with Arkansas on April 5, the Sooners then spend the rest of the season after the Preview Tournament in conference play.

Oklahoma begins its quest for an unprecedented sixth straight Big 12 title as it opens league play with a three-game series in Norman against Iowa State on March 31.

The conference schedule also sees OU hosting Baylor (April 21-23) and a Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma State (May 5). OU will be on the road within the conference at Texas (April 7-9), Kansas (April 13-15) and Texas Tech (April 28-30). The other two Bedlam contests are set to take place in Stillwater on May 3 and 6.

For the first time since 2010, the Big 12 Softball Championship will be held May 12-13 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The championship will include pool play for the top six teams. Of the current league membership, OU and Texas have won the postseason title four times each, while Kansas won the championship in 2006.

OU won the very first Big 12 Softball Championship in 1996 and took home titles in 2001, 2007 and 2010, along with runner-up finishes in 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2009. All-time, Oklahoma holds a 39-18 record in the Big 12 Championship.

The 2016 NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 19-21 at campus sites, while the Super Regionals are also scheduled to take place at campus sites from May 25-28. The 2017 Women’s College World Series will be held in Oklahoma City from June 1-7.

LSU Softball vs Pride

LSU Softball to Host NPF’s Pride During Fall Workouts 

 

BATON ROUGE, La. – Coming off of its second-straight Women’s College World Series appearance in June, the LSU softball team got back to work last week with the beginning of fall workouts, as the Tigers will prepare for the 2017 season with a slate of scrimmages against local and regional collegiate teams and highlighted by a visit by the NPF’s USSSA Pride in October.

 

LSU, returning five positional starters and all three of its starting pitchers from the 2016 team that won 50-plus games for the second consecutive year, will have scrimmages for most of the month of October, with the key matchup against the Pride coming on October 16th at 4 p.m. at Tiger Park.

 

The Pride finished the National Pro Fastpitch season with a 40-14 record and earned the top seed for the league’s annual championship series for the third consecutive year and fifth time in the last seven seasons. The Pride will be on the second leg of their fall tour series which began in September in the northeast, before moving to the south for the month of October.

 

The contest between the Tigers and Pride will be free and open to fans, as will the rest of the contests.

 

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.

 

2016 LSU Softball Fall Schedule

Date                                      Team                                                                     Time

October 2                            Lamar, Chipola                                                  TBA

October 8                            Northwestern State, Belhaven                  TBA

October 11                          LSU-Eunice                                                         6 p.m.

October 16                          USSSA Pride                                                       4 p.m.

October 20                          McNeese State                                                 6 p.m.

 

9-9-2016 Girouard to Louisiana Hall of Fame

Girouard Selected For Enshrinement in Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame

 

HAMMOND, La. – Former LSU softball head coach Yvette Girouard was announced as one of the honorees for the 2016 Class of the Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame the ASA/USA Softball of Louisiana organization announced.

 

Girouard is one of 12 inductees that will be recognized and put into the hall on October 29 at 5 p.m. at the New Orleans Airport-Crowne Plaza Hotel. Tickets are available for purchase for the event for $35 at usasoftball.net or by calling (985) 507-0092.

 

With 1,285 career victories, Girouard has the fourth-most wins of any coach, retired or active, in NCAA softball history, earning 526 of them during her 11-year run at the helm of the LSU program. She earned two Women’s College World Series appearances, winning the SEC regular season and tournament title three times.

 

With 30-consecutive winning seasons under her belt, Girouard’s teams at UL-Lafayette, and LSU, won nine conference championships, racked up 10 national Top 10 finishes, earned 20 NCAA Regional appearances and are no strangers to Oklahoma City. She became just the third coach in NCAA history to steer two programs to the Women’s College World Series when she led LSU during the 2001 and 2004 seasons after taking UL-Lafayette to a trio of WCWS appearances in the 1990s.

 

The Broussard, Louisiana, can now add Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame member to her illustrious list of accomplishments including being recently inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, among others.

 

For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

9-13-2016 Lotief Honored by NFCA

Louisiana-Lafayette’s Michael Lotief named 2016 Donna Newberry “Perseverance” award recipient

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is honored to announce Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Michael Lotief as the 2016 recipient of its Donna Newberry “Perseverance” Award.

The award, named for the longtime Muskingum College and 2008 NFCA Hall of Fame coach who died in November 2010 after amassing a 906-419-1 mark over 36 seasons, recognizes an NFCA member coach 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 a coach.

Lotief joins Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf (2014) and the late John Keyes (2015), head coach at North Fort Myers (Fla.) High School as recipients of this prestigious award.

Complete release attached

9-9-2016 NFCA Announces Assistant Coach Honors

2016 NFCA Assistant Coach of The Year recipients announced

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Roger Willhite (DI / Houston Baptist), Pat Kent (DII / Wayne State University), Alicia O’Brien (DIII / Central College), Scottie Wilkes (NAIA / Auburn Montgomery, Brett Magorian (Cal JC/Sierra College) and Errica Cantu (High School / Deer Park [Texas]) are the 2016 recipients of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year award.

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 five of this year’s class of recipients played a pivotal role in their team’s success during the 2015-16 softball season.

NCAA Division I: Roger Willhite, Houston Baptist

Willhite, who built the softball field and everything around it, including a six-foot, three-sided Husky sculpture, will be entering his 24th year as an assistant coach at Houston Baptist, all by the side of head coach Mary-Ellen Hall. Six days before the start of the 2015-16 school year, Hall suffered a stroke leaving her paralyzed on the right side and in the hospital for 31 days. With no other assistants on staff, Willhite managed the program the entire fall and kept it going in the right direction, while still making time to visit Evans twice a day to keep her up to speed. Evans returned to school in the spring, but Willhite continued to work tirelessly taking on all the physical parts of coaching and recruiting, which included running all aspects of pregame warm up, batting practice, infield and outfield fungos. He also provided Evans with a ride to and from the office every day and made sure she was at every game in the spring.

In the words of Central Arkansas head coach David Kuhn- “I know the accomplishments for HBU Softball didn’t come in a championship. But to see, the loyalty, love, work ethic and compassion that Roger has for his university, softball team, his friend and head coach, was the best accomplishment I’ve witnessed.”

NCAA Division II: Pat Kent, Wayne State University

Kent has been associated with the Wayne State softball program since 1980, first as a player, then as a graduate assistant and for the last 31 years, assistant coach. The program’s first First-Team All-American (1983) has been a key cog over the past 33 years as the Warriors have won 1,209 games, including 50 in 2016. In addition to her role as the program’s defensive coach, Kent serves as academic advisor, creates practice plans and assists in all other aspects of the program, including scheduling, recruiting fund raising and budget preparation. She, along with NFCA Hall of Fame head coach Gary Bryce, is the driving force behind the fund raising efforts of the program and Wayne State’s pitching clinic, one of the most successful camps in Southeast Michigan. Kent has worked tirelessly for the program and all the while holds a full time job as a physical education teacher in the Clarkston (Mich.) Public Schools system.

In the words of Bryce- “I cannot express how important she is to the welfare and makeup of our team. Her energy cannot be matched by any other assistant for planning and implementing what has to be done to be successful. She has had opportunities to leave and become a head coach, but thank heaven she has stayed with our program. She would make any program better if she was a part of it.

NCAA Division III: Alicia O’Brien, Central College

O’Brien joined Central College as an associate head coach in 2006 after a highly successful head coaching career at Western Connecticut State University (18 years). Along with her coaching duties, O’Brien serves as the athletics department’s associate athletics director and senior woman administrator. Beyond the many regular duties she performs- recruiting coordinator, outfield coach, supervises study table, team travel- O’Brien has a willingness to always go the extra mile in serving the student-athlete and ensuring that every player has a successful experience at Central. One example of her selflessness is helping a recent player, who did not pan out as a player, get through college and graduate. She identified an undiagnosed learning disability and spent extra time each week, encouraging her and not only make sure she completed assignments, but was comprehending the subject matter. The student continued to seek her assistance and her graduation was a milestone day.

In the words of NFCA Hall of Famer and Dutch head coach George Wares- “The player’s graduation and continued development in life after graduation ranks as Alicia’s greatest coaching achievement.”

NAIA: Scottie Wilkes, Auburn Montgomery

Wilkes has played a key role in Auburn Montgomery’s success in just four years on the coaching staff, the last three as an assistant. Wilkes has helped the Warhawks to back-to-back NAIA national championships (2014 &15) and a final four finish in 2016. This past season also marked the first time the program won the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament and Gulf Coast Invitational. She works with pitchers and catchers, while also serving as the program’s director of operations, which includes ordering equipment, preparing scouting reports coordinating travel and umpire assignments and monitors academic study halls. Wilkes also does the leg work for the “pink out” day at AUM and coordinates all community service projects.

In the words of AUM head coach Eric Newell- “Scottie is really humble and valuable to the success of our program. Every coach desires a loyal assistant and coach Scottie shows me her commitment on a daily basis. She sometimes goes unnoticed because she does not like the limelight, but I can ensure you that she deserves a great deal of credit for the success AUM has had.”

Cal JC: Brett Magorian, Sierra College

Magorian joined the staff in 2013 as a volunteer assistant and has been an instrumental part of Sierra College’s success since. After one full season on the staff, Magorian, who works with infielder and hitters, played a key role in the program’s first State Championship title. He also assists in recruiting and according to head coach Darcie Brownell- has made the difference in our recruiting process and parents and players are intrigued by his passion for the game and Sierra College. Along with his on-the-field coaching and recruiting duties, Magorian put in the time and effort to solicit donations for and build an 800 square foot team room with customized lockers, along with walkways and landscaping. After the loss of his mother and fatal injury to his daughter in a 2014 car accident, Magorian returned after a short absence and dove right in to his responsibilities. According to Brownell It left an impression on the student-athletes and their respect for him grew tremendously. They learned a lifelong lesson from how Brett handle his tragic situation and put the game of softball in perspective for all of us.

In the words of Brownell- “He truly is my right hand man. My job has drastically changed and become easier after Brett joined our staff. Our program, facility and legacy has changed since Brett was hired. I understand that this tragic situation does not dictate an assistant coach of the year award, but what does is how you respond after a tragedy and how you do your job.”

High School: Errica Cantu, Deer Park High School (Texas)

Cantu has been a varsity assistant at Deer Park for seven years. During that time, she has been part of a program that has won two state championships (2012 & 2014) and was a state tournament semifinalist in 2013. With all the duties of the assistant coach (scouting, driving the bus and supervising managers to name a few), Cantu also juggles being a high school math teacher, mother of four children, the director of softball summer camp and administrator on duty for field use. In 2016, she had to step up in a big way after head coach Carrie Austgen was in a car accident, which limited her ability to engage in the day-to-day physical part of the job. Cantu stepped in and led the coaching staff and team with great success and the weekend the accident occurred. She was able to hold the line and guide Deer Park to an undefeated tournament, while Austgen was recovering.

In the words of Austgen- “It is these moments that we all find out what we are made of and I am very proud of the work she did and the coach she is becoming.”

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.