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NFCA Announces 2010 NAIA National & Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The staff of the 2010 NAIA National Runner-Up Oklahoma City University has been selected as the 2010 National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced on Monday. 

Joining Oklahoma City, also winners of the Southwest Regional award, as regional winners were Belhaven from the East, Olivet Nazarene from the Great Lakes region, Mid-America Nazarene from the Midwest and California Baptist from the West. 

Head coach Phil McSpadden, an NAIA Hall of Famer, and his assistant Bobbi Bridges finished the 2010 campaign with a record of 45-14 and fell just short of the national title by losing to Simon Fraser, 4-3, in the championship game. 

The Stars earned their way into this year’s national tournament by winning the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament title for the third straight year. Helping lead Oklahoma City this season were first-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American Amanda Howard and second-teamer Ashley Wilburn. 

Howard, a senior outfielder, hit .374 for the Stars this season with 10 home runs, 39 RBIs and 13 stolen bases, while Wilburn, a senior pitcher, went 15-4 on the year with a 1.85 ERA and 149 strikeouts. 

Head Coach Rick Fremin, the 2010 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, and assistants Alana Fremin, Mallory Meadows and Shaunte Fremin helped lead Belhaven to a 54-10 finish this season and its first ever trip to the National Tournament. 

The Blazers, who spent most of the season ranked in the Top 10 nationally, fell to William Carey in both the GCAC championship game and the National Tournament, but not before winning four of their six games and advancing to the Elite Eight in their first-ever trip to the championship. 

Olivet Nazarene made an appearance at this year’s National Tournament and won the 2010 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship under the direction of head coach Ritchie Richardson and assistants Amanda Jensen, Tiffany Lanoue and Erin Salzman. Richardson was also this year’s CCAC Coach of the Year. 

The Tigers finished the year with a record of 56-15 and went 1-2 at the National Tournament. On top of its trip to the NAIA National Tournament, Olivet finished second in this year’s NCCAA National Championship and won the CCAC regular-season title on the strength of a 17-1 record in league play. 

The MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers finished their remarkable season with trip to the National Tournament after first winning the 2010 Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships. 

Head Coach Steve Babinski, the HAAC Coach of the Year, and assistants Kevin Juber and Hallie McMillen helped guide the Pioneers to a school record 46 wins and their first-ever trip to the National Tournament. 

After winning the National Championship in 2009 and spending much of the 2010 season as the No. 1 team in the nation, head coach Mike Smith and assistants Bill Baber and Kristen Karanzias led the Lancers to a third-place national finish this season and a school-record 65 wins. 

The Lancers won both the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles in 2010 and set a new NAIA record for home runs with 111.