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Linfield Named 2011 Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year

VaughanSTARKVILLE, Miss. – Linfield head coach Jackson Vaughan, along with assistant coaches Erica Hancock, Greg Herman and Shelley Vaughan, have been named as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced on Thursday. 

The Wildcats went 51-3 on the year, culminating in their second national championship in five seasons. Linfield set NCAA Division III records for wins and home runs (103) in a season. 

Ranked No. 1 in the NFCA poll from the start of the season until the finish – the first team ever to do so – Linfield set new standards for team success. The Wildcats put together a 35-game win streak on their way to capturing an eighth straight Northwest Conference championship, a second consecutive regional title, plus the inaugural NWC Tournament crown. 

At the NCAA regional in Pella, Iowa, Linfield cruised to the regional title, winning all four games while outscoring opponents 49-0. The Wildcats flew from Iowa to the NCAA finals in Salem Va., where they won six of seven games, outscoring the opposition 50-9. 

Linfield’s season statistics were equally impressive. The Wildcats broke the 2007 national championship team’s record for batting average, hitting .396. The team also set new standards for slugging percentage (.682), on-base percentage (.471), hits (.595) and runs scored (484). The record-breaking 103 home runs on the season surpassed only their own number of 78 from a year ago. 

NFCA All-American first baseman Staci Doucette set new single-season records for batting average (.547), on-base percentage (.653) and walks (45). Her teammate and fellow All-American, catcher Emilee Lepp Lepp set the school- and NCAA-record for home runs with 29, as well as single-season marks for slugging percentage (1.089), hits (89), total bases (195), runs (74), and RBI (94). 

Through 10 seasons at Linfield, Vaughan has recorded a 368-86-1 record with eight straight NWC titles, four national finals appearances, one national championship runner-up finish, and two national titles. 

For their accomplishments this season, Vaughan and his staff also earned the West Region Coaching Staff of the Year award. 

Other regional winners this season were: 

Atlantic Region – Christopher Newport (38-12)
Head Coach: Keith Parr (8th year) 
Assistant Coaches: Todd Winegrad, Kristen Rowe 

2011 Finish: National Championship Runner-Up 
• Second straight national championship appearance 
• Advanced through Salisbury regional and national tournament unbeaten until championship 


Central Region – DePauw (32-11-1)
Head Coach: Bonnie Skrenta (9th year) 
Assistant Coaches: Curtis Lawrence, Bob England 

2011 Finish: Fifth place (tie) finish at national championship 
• Second straight national championship appearance 
• Third SCAC title in last four years 


East Region – Messiah (39-7)
Head Coach: Amy Weaver (14th year) 
Assistant Coaches: Alex Quigley, Sam McLoota, Jen Thuma, Dana Randall 
2011 Finish: Seventh place (tie) finish at national championship 

• 10-game and 14-game win streaks during season 
• Third consecutive Commonwealth Conference championship 


Great Lakes Region (tie) – Wisconsin-River Falls (28-15)
Head Coach: Jody Gabriel (4th year) 
Assistant Coaches: Pam Latterell, Ashley Bertrand, Rachel Minch 

2011 Finish: Fourth place finish at Eau Claire regional 
• WIAC regular season (first since 1994) and tournament (first ever) champions 
• First time in school history to go undefeated at home (14-0) 


Great Lakes Region (tie) – Ripon (27-10)
Head Coach: Jen Mueller (3rd year) 
Assistant Coaches: Dennis Lauer, Ryan Konitzer 

2011 Finish: Third place finish at Eau Claire regional 
• Best finishing record in school history and single season team records for wins, home runs, stolen bases and doubles 
• Second ever appearance in NCAA regionals (first since 2008) 


Midwest Region – Luther (41-6)
Head Coach: Renae Hartl (10th year) 
Assistant Coaches: Tracy Hjelle, Teri Olson 

2011 Finish: Seventh place (tie) finish at national championship 
• Second consecutive 40-win season and school record 24-game win streak 
• Iowa conference regular season and tournament champions 


New England Region – Eastern Connecticut (35-7)
Head Coach: Diana Pepin (10th year) 
Assistant Coaches: Peter Maneggia, Tammy Schondelmayer, Bill Mullins, Ashley Sullivan 

2011 Finish: Fifth place (tie) finish at national championship 
• Second consecutive national championship appearance 
• 17-game win streak during season 


Northeast Region – Cortland State (42-5-1)
Head Coach: Julie Lenhart (17th year) 
Assistant Coaches: Brad Posner, Tracy Granozio, Sami Dieffenbach, Kevin Jackson 

2011 Finish: Fourth place finish at national championship 
• Best finish in school history (4th place at championship) 
• Third consecutive 40-win season and second consecutive SUNYAC championship