Coaching legends reach 1,000 mark
Young leads Tigers to sweep of then-No. 1 Alabama
It has been a busy few weeks for coaching milestones with three coaches reaching the 1,000-win plateau throughout the last two weeks and a fourth poised to reach that benchmark this week.
North Carolina’s Donna Papa put her 1,000th career victory in the books on March 27 with a 4-0 win against Florida State to complete a weekend sweep. In her 27th season, Papa is the winningest coach in UNC and ACC history and has led Carolina to eight consecutive NCAA appearances. The milestone sweep of the Seminoles was the first sweep of FSU in program history.
Jay Miller of Mississippi State was next to reach that four-digit milestone, earning his 1,000th career win on April 8 with a win against then-No. 22 Auburn. A three-run home run from freshman Heidi Shape gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 win. Miller is in his 29th season as a head coach and ninth as head coach at Mississippi State.
Tennessee’s Ralph Weekly capped off a weekend sweep of Ole Miss with a 9-0 (5 inn) win for his 1,000th career victory in his 24-year coaching career. Weekly’s co-head coach and wife, Karen Weekly, reached the 700-win plateau earlier this season. The pair currently has 499 wins together with the Lady Vols and are in their 10th season in Knoxville.
Gary Bryce of Wayne State (Mich.) is poised to become the 20th NCAA softball coach to reach that milestone, as he stands at 996 at the close of last weekend’s schedule. Blair, an NFCA Hall of Fame member along with Miller (Weekly will be inducted in 2011) is in his 30th season with the Warriors. Wayne State faces Northwood at home on Wednesday, then will hit the road for a six-game road trip before returning to Detroit and a home game against Findlay on April 26.
Need to Know
• Sarah Smaltz of Mississippi College earned NFCA Division III Player of the Week honors. The junior catcher’s big weekend at the plate helped the Lady Choctaws break into the Top 25 poll for the first time this season after a 6-0 week. Smaltz hit 11-for-19 with four home runs, a double and nine RBI in a week that included a doubleheader sweep of then-No. 3 Louisiana College. She also earned American Southwest Conference East Division Hitter of the Week.
• LSU’s Anissa Young earned USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honors after the Tigers swept then-No. 1 Alabama in a three-game series. Young ended the longest game in LSU program history with a walk-off home run in the 14th inning of the series opener for her 100th career hit. In Game 2, Young had a two-run homer in the 10th inning to extend her hitting streak to a career-long eight games. Young also earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors. Teammate Brittany Mack went 2-0 and struck out 25 in the circle for the Tigers during the series sweep.
• Montana Lucas of Grand Canyon earned NFCA Division II National Player of the Week honors, going 14-for-17 last week in a four-game sweep of Dominican (Calif.). She set two school records in the series finale, recording five hits and nine RBI in the game.
• Kristyn Sandberg of Georgia NFCA Player of the Week honors, going 9-for-13 with five doubles, two home runs, three runs scored, eight RBI and two walks. She hit .692 for the week and did not commit an error in 32 chances in the field.
• North Georgia has clinched the Peach Belt Championship for a third consecutive season The PBC Tournament begins this week at Freedom Florence Park in Florence, S.C. In North Georgia’s three consecutive regular season championships, they have lost just four conference games, dropping one game in 2009 and three this season. The Saints have won the last two PBC Tournaments. North Georgia closed out the season with a no-hitter from senior Sarah Phillips in a 6-1 Saints win.
• Allison Smith of Wingate earned NFCA Division II Pitcher of the Week honors, picking up three wins and a save for the Bulldogs last week with the three wins all via complete-game shutouts. She had a 0.00 ERA while allowing 12 hits and three walks, striking out 20 on the week.
• Arizona State took over the top spot in both Division I polls after the previous No. 1, Alabama, was swept in a three-game series by LSU.
• Georgia’s nation-best 37-game home winning streak was snapped on Wednesday when then-No. 8 Tennessee split an SEC doubleheader with the Bulldogs.
• Jessica Davis of Illinois hit four home runs against Ohio State last week, hitting .667 for the week with a 2.111 slugging percentage.
• Megan Chartier of Midwestern State went 9-for-12 in a sweep of Southwestern Oklahoma, scoring three runs and stealing two bases.
• Troy swept a Sun Belt series for the first time this season and swept conference honors as a result. Nikki Hollett and Ashlyn Williams earned Player and Pitcher of the Week honors, respectively.
• Diana Pickrum of Lewis pitched three complete-game shutouts, striking out 13 and allowing two walks.
• Amber May of Eastern Illinois went 4-0 in the circle last week while recording her 500th career strikeout.
• Chatham’s Julia Eck earned President’s Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week honors, going 8-for-14 (.571). Samantha Ladenburger earned Pitcher of the Week honors, going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA with 14.0 IP and 11 K’s.
• Missouri Southern State’s Nicole Reed won five games for the Lions last week, including a complete-game shutout and 36 K’s.
• Mountain West weekly honors went to San Diego State’s Lorena Klopp with a .538 batting average (7-for-13) and 18 RBI over five games and Aztec teammate Bailey Micetich earned Pitcher of the Week going 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA over 18.0 IP with 13 K’s.
• Nicole Colpron of Montana State-Billings hit .667 last week with two home runs in a series win against then-No. 19 Western Washington.
• In the Big West, Keilani Jennigs of UC Santa Barbara hit .700 (7-for-10) and earned Field Player of the Week honors. Nikki Armagost of Pacific was named Pitcher of the Week, going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA in 20.2 IP.