Humboldt State has been named the NFCA/NCAA Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced today.
Head coach Frank Cheek and assistant coaches Shelli Maher Sarchett and Art Jones led the Lumberjacks to the 2008 NCAA Division II Championship behind the pitching of senior Lizzy Prescott. After losing both games at the CCAA Championship Tournament, the Lumberjacks played host to the NCAA West Regional, where they lost via run rule against Cal State San Bernardino before bouncing back with six straight victories to take the West Regional Championship and advance to the NCAA Championship in Houston, Texas.
In Houston, the Lumberjacks opened with a 2-1, 10-inning victory over Lock Haven before dispatching Emporia State by a score of 3-0 on the second day of the Championship. A marathon 17-inning, four-hour battle with Lock Haven proved to be a memorable Semifinal match-up with Humboldt State prevailing by a score of 1-0 to advance to the NCAA Championship game.
In that Saturday afternoon match-up. Humboldt State scored early against Emporia State and never looked back, posting a 1-0 victory following a solo home run by Natalie Galletly in the top of the first inning.
This was the second NCAA Division II Softball Championship for Cheek as he led the Lumberjacks to the 1999 NCAA Championship.
The NFCA/NCAA Division II Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year include:
Great Lakes Region
Ferris State University (35-18) Head Coach Keri Becker, Assistant Coaches Lesa Bickley and Chad Haberland • NCAA Great Lakes Regional Champions • Tied for fifth place at the NCAA Championship
Lock Haven University (49-8) Head Coach Kelley Green, Assistant Coach Kelly Shannon • NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions • Tied for third at NCAA Championship
North Central Region
Emporia State University (48-17) Head Coach Kristi Bredbenner, Assistant Coaches Bree Beattie, Lauren Loucks • NCAA North Central Regional Champions • Finished second at the NCAA Championship
C.W. Post (48-16) Head Coach Jamie Apicella, Assistant Coach Kelsey Walker • NCAA Northeast Regional Champions • Tied for seventh at NCAA Championship
Barry University (44-8) Head Coach Danielle Penner, Assistant Coaches Melissa Wiggins and Heather Gelbard • NCAA South Regional Champions • Tied for seventh at NCAA Championship
South Atlantic Region
UNC-Pembroke (46-14) Head Coach Steve Johnson, Assistant Coach Theresa Walker • Finished fourth at the NCAA South Atlantic Regional
South Central Region
St. Edward’s University (53-17) Head Coach Amy Coulter, Assistant Coach Lindsay Gardner • NCAA South Central Regional Champions • Finished tied for third at NCAA Championship
Humboldt State (57-18) Head Coach Frank Cheek, Assistant Coach Shelli Maher Sarchett • NCAA West Regional Champions • NCAA Champions