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Phoenix Named 2012 NJCAA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year

Phoenix's Heinz Mueller. Courtesy of PC Media Relations.STARKVILLE, Miss. – Head coach Heinz Mueller and assistants Cassie Cresswell-Miller, Christa Pfeninger and Hank Schrader of national champion Phoenix have been named as 2012 NFCA NJCAA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year.

Phoenix finished the 2012 campaign with a record of 57-16 and picked up the Region 1 title en route to its eighth national championship under Mueller. The Bears won their ninth title overall the hard way and came of the elimination bracket to win three games on the final day, including beating defending champion LSU-Eunice twice to win the crown.

During the course of the tournament, Phoenix set two new championship records, both for home runs. The Bears set a new team mark for long balls in the three-day event with 12, while Rachel Meyer set the individual mark with six.

Helping lead the Bears to a national championship this season were first team NFCA All-Americans Desirea Gil and Krystal Garcia. Gil, a catcher, was third in the nation in home runs in 2012 with 27, while Garcia, an infielder, batted .401 to go along with 74 RBIs and 73 runs. Gina VanArsdall was also named as an All-American this season for Phoenix, earning second team honor as a pitcher. VanArsdall completed her 2012 campaign with an ERA of 2.05 and 140 strikeouts.

Earlier this month, Phoenix was one of three coaching staffs to earn regional honors, taking home the award for the West region. Joining the Bears as award winners this season were Muskegon form the East and Southwestern CC (Iowa) from the Midwest.