Softball Aces coach gets extension - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Softball Aces coach gets extension

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

University of Evansville Director of Athletics Mark Spencer has announced the signing of UE head softball coach Mat Mundell to a contract extension with the Purple Aces program

“I want to thank President Kazee and Athletic Director Spencer for their continued support and commitment that they have shown to help the softball program grow,” Mundell said.  “I am proud of the job the players and the staff and done to move our culture in a positive direction.  My family and I are extremely thankful and blessed to be able to continue in the Evansville community.”

Mundell orchestrated one of the top turnarounds in the NCAA in 2016, more than doubling the win total from the previous season.  The 14-win improvement was the 9th-best jump among the 295 NCAA softball programs.  He also helped the Aces to 12 league wins, its highest total in nine seasons.  Mundell, along with assistants Ashley Balazs and Aubrey Watson, were named the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year for their efforts.

“Coach Mundell and his staff have done an excellent job in a short time at the helm of our softball program,” Spencer said.  “Our student-athletes have bought into Mat’s vision and we are extremely excited about the future of the program.”

Originally picked 10th in the preseason Missouri Valley Conference poll, Evansville recorded 12 league wins, its highest total in nine years while tying Bradley for 5th place in the league.  The turning point of the season came in the fourth inning of game two against Wichita State.  UE was 2-8 in MVC play at that point, had lost the first game of the series to the Shockers, was trailing the game 4-0 and had not won an MVC series in three years.

One swing changed the course of the season.  With the bases loaded, Morgan Lambert hit a grand slam before Hayli Scott notched the game-winning hit in a 5-4 win.  A day later, the Aces won the series with a 3-2 triumph, dealing the eventual MVC champs one of only two conference series losses in 2016.  That was the first of four MVC series wins in a row as the Aces won finished the season winning five of their final six conference series. 

Leading the way for the Aces in her first season was MVC Freshman of the Year Morgan Florey.  Finishing third in the MVC with a 1.95 ERA, Florey won a total of 16 games.  She was also the top power hitter on the team, leading UE with 8 home runs and 26 RBI.  She joined Chandra Parr on the All-MVC First Team.  For Parr, it marked her second appearance on the list.  She batted .306 and knocked in 23 runs in 2016.  Susan Norris also garnered postseason accolades, earning a spot on the All-Defensive Team as she registered a .977 fielding percentage.

“We have taken many steps forward in 2016 but the team and I have many goals we look forward to achieving this season and in the future,” Mundell added.

Courtesy: University of Evansville Sports Information Department 

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