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Arizona State Named 2011 Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Head coach Clint Myers, associate head coach Robert Wagner and assistant coach Chuck D’Arcy of the 2011 NCAA Division I National Champions Arizona State have been named as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced on Wednesday.
The Sun Devils went 60-6 on the year and a perfect 10-0 in the national tournament en route to the program’s second national championship in the span of just four years.
Hosting both the regional and super regional rounds in Tempe, the top-seeded Sun Devils made good use of their home field advantage to go 5-0 over both rounds. Arizona State tallied wins over North Dakota State, Long Beach State and San Diego State in the regionals and two over Texas A&M in super regional play to advance to the Women’s College World Series for the fifth time in six years.
Once in Oklahoma City, the Sun Devils left no doubt as to who was the nation's top team in 2011 by going 5-0, including a sweep of Florida in the championship series.
Helping lead the way for Arizona State this season was 2011 Louisville Slugger NFCA First-Team All American and co-WCWS Most Outstanding Player freshman pitcher Dallas Escobedo. Escobedo ended her inaugural campaign at 37-3 with a 1.51 ERA and 324 strikeouts.
Through six seasons in Tempe, Myers has amassed a 324-79 record with six NCAA tournament bids, five WCWS appearances, two Pac-10 titles and two national championships.
For their work this season, Myers and staff also earned the West Region Coaching Staff of the Year award.
Other regional winners this season were:
Central Region – Baylor University (47-15, 11-6 Big 12)
Head Coaches: Glenn Moore
Baylor advanced to its sixth NCAA tournament in the past eight years this season and earned the No. 11 overall seed. After finishing fourth in the Big 12 during the regular season, the Bears made the most of their at-large berth and advanced to the WCWS for the second time in program history. At the WCWS, Baylor finished in a tie for third, advancing to the semi-finals for the first time in school history. Helping lead Baylor this season was 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second-Team All-American pitcher Whitney Canion, who finished the season with 31 wins, a 1.28 ERA and 339 strikeouts.
Great Lakes Region – Syracuse University (45-13, 15-5 Big East)
Mid-Atlantic Region – Fordham University (42-19, 116-4 Atlantic 10)
Head Coach: Bridget Orchard
Mideast Region – East Carolina University (14-10 Conference USA)
Head Coach: Tracey Kee
After finishing seventh in the Big 12 during the regular season, Oklahoma State proved it was a team to be reckoned with in the post-season by winning the Knoxville regional and dispatching host Tennessee in the final. In their first super regionals in program history, the Cowgirls topped Houston at home to advance to the WCWS for the first time since 1998. At the WCWS, Oklahoma State dropped its first two games, but ended the season with 40-plus wins for the second time in as many years. Helping pilot the Cowgirls this season was Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Midwest Region selection Chelsea Garcia. The shortstop batted .312 on the season with 49 runs and 14 extra-base hits.
Head Coach: Chris Cannata
Albany capped a tremendous season by advancing to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in program history. After winning their fourth America East regular-season title since 2004, the Great Danes earned their way into the NCAA tournament by capturing their first league tournament title since 2007. Albany traveled to University Park, Pa., for regional play, but lost its first two games to end the season. First baseman Gina Mason earned second-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Northeast Region honors this season by hitting a team-leading .404 with team-highs of 29 RBIs and 25 walks.
California advanced to the WCWS for the first time since 2005 after a great regular season that saw the Bears finish second in the Pac-10. In the NCAA tournament, seventh-seeded California earned its first trip to Oklahoma City since 2005 by beating Kentucky two out of three times in the super regionals. In the WCWS, the Golden Bears finished tied for fifth by going 1-2. First-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American pitcher Jolene Henderson was key in the Bears’ run this season and won 40 games for her team while ending the season with the nation’s third lowest ERA at 0.99
Head Coach: Patrick Murphy
Florida turned in another deep post-season run in 2011 after finishing second in the SEC during the regular season and winning the league's east division. The Gators lost just one game in the regional and super regional rounds to advance to their fourth consecutive WCWS. In Oklahoma City, the Gators finished as the runner-up by going 4-3 including two wins over conference-rival Alabama in the semi-finals. The championship series appearance marks the second time in three years that Florida has advanced to the national finals. The 2011 Honda Sports Award winner for softball, Kelsey Bruder, led six Florida Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Americans this season by hitting .387 with 19 home runs.