LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Head coach Jaqueline Sheftz and assistant coaches Erica Christopher and Kelley Larsen of Masuk High School (CT) have been selected as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s National High School Coaching Staff of the Year the Association announced on Monday.
The Panthers completed the campaign with a perfect 27-0 overall record, winning the 2013 Class “L” Connecticut State Championship and the 2013 South-West Colonial Division Conference crown (7-0 over Lauralton Hall) while finishing the year as the unanimous No. 1 ranked team in both Connecticut high school softball polls.
Masuk was guided from the circle by pitcher Tatum Buckley with the junior earning a NFCA First Team East Region selection while also being named the 2013 Connecticut Gatorade State Player of the Year and both the CHSCA Player and Female Athlete of the Year. The hurler posted a perfect 27-0 mark from the circle with a miniscule 0.37 ERA, 18 solo shutouts, four no-hitters and two perfect games while striking out 289 batters over 171 innings of effort. She also contributed strongly at the dish, batting .506 from the leadoff spot in the line-up with 42 hits and 28 RBIs.
Other standouts for the Panthers during their unbeaten title run were Hearst Connecticut Newspapers Super-15 Softball All-Stars Ashley Fedor and Melissa Peet. Fedor contributed a walk-off, two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to lead Masuk to the Class L title via a comeback, 3-2 win over Foran (CT) while also hitting .451 overall on the year with 31 tallies, a .537 on-base percentage and 27 RBIs. Fedor batted .475 with nine doubles, four triples, nine HR’s, a 1.025 slugging mark and 41 RBIs in reaping both NFCA Second Team All-East Region and Class L All-State honors.
For their work this season, Sheftz, Christopher and Larsen also garnered the NFCA East Region High School Coaching Staff of the Year accolade.
Regional winners for this season were:
EAST REGION - Masuk High School (CT)
Head Coach: Jacqueline Sheftz -- Assistant Coaches: Erica Christopher & Kelley Larsen
2013 Regular Season South-West Colonial Division Conference Champions…2013 South-West Conference Tournament Champions…2013 Class "L" State Champions at a perfect 27-0…Finished as the unanimous #1 team in both Connecticut State Polls for high school softball…19 "team" shutouts in 27 games…2013 Connecticut Softball team of the Year (sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps)…2013 Connecticut High School Coaches Association Class “L” Coach of the Year and Connecticut Post Area Coach of the Year.
NORTH REGION - Canon McMillian High School (PA)
Head Coach: Michele Moeller -- Assistant Coaches: Stephen Moskal & Tracey Michalak – Pitching Coach: Bob Gneuhs
Won PIAA State Championship in first ever state championship appearance with a 25-1 overall record…Won second consecutive District 7 (WPIAL) Championship.
SOUTH REGION - Alexander Central High School (NC)
Head Coach: Monte Sherrill -- Assistant Coaches: Darrell Adkins, Josh Bumgarner, Terry Waugh, Randy Elder & Robby Wilkinson
Despite graduating a four-time All-American and three other all-area players from 2012, the Alexander Central H.S. 2013 squad (only had one senior) won the school’s third state championship in five seasons and eighth overall in school history at 33-1 overall as well as Sherrill’s 24th conference title in 24 years at the helm while also setting the state record for single-season hits with 399…Won 31 straight games to end the campaign.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION - Olathe East High School (KS)
Head Coach: Jeff Hulse -- Assistant Coaches: Stan Spurlin, Shelly Shaw & Sarah Bachellette
Posted a 24-1 overall record while winning the 2013 6A Kansas State championship (the school’s eighth since 1998 and second consecutive) as well as the regional (12th title) and Sunflower League (13th title) crowns…Second straight NFCA South Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year selection.
WEST REGION - Piedra Vista High School (NM)
Head Coach: Kevin Werth -- Assistant Coaches: Frank Whalen, Tommy Ward, Bryan Chavez, Pete Yazzle, Tim Turman, Cary Moone & Diondra Bond
Captured eighth consecutive Class AAAA State Championship with a 26-5 overall record, breaking the New Mexico Softball team record of seven consecutive held by Cobre High School in the 1980, and seventh-straight district title…Piedra Vista is 36-0 all-time in state tournament play dating back to 2006…Werth was awarded the 2013 NHSACA "National" COY in June of 2013 and picked up his 300th win this year on April 12…Was also 2011 NFCA West Region CSOY.