USI Softball Coaches earn National honor

USI Softball Coaches earn National honor
(WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Softball Head Coach Sue Kunkle and Assistant Coaches MacKenzi Dorsam and Lexi Reese have been collectively named the NCAA Division II Softball National Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association in an announcement Wednesday. The award marks the first time in program history that USI Softball coaches have garnered the distinction and the fourth time in school history that a USI coach/coaching staff has earned such a distinction.

Led by Kunkle, the Screaming Eagles captured the program's first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship, its second straight Midwest Region title, and its first Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament championship since 1998. The national title also was the fourth team title in school history and the first by a women's sport.

USI finished the year with a 41-23 overall record and a 15-13 mark in GLVC play during the 2018 season. The Eagles reached the 40-win plateau for the third time in program history and posted a 14-1 record in the postseason, including a 5-0 mark at the NCAA II Softball Championship. USI also obtained its first-ever No. 1 ranking as the Eagles were the unanimous No. 1 team in the final NFCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll.

Kunkle, in her 17th year at the helm of the USI Softball program, became the first coach in school history to amass 500 career wins at USI. The two-time GLVC Coach of the Year saw her career record at USI improve to 513-361-1 (.587).

Under Kunkle, USI has qualified for the last four NCAA II Tournaments and five of the last six.

Dorsam concluded her third year with the Eagles' coaching staff and second as the Eagles' top assistant after serving as a graduate assistant in 2016. She was the GLVC Player of the Year in her final season with the Eagles' in 2015.

Reese finished her first season as a graduate assistant on the Eagles' coaching staff after stellar three-year playing career as the Eagles' shortstop. She was an All-GLVC honoree and a three-time Academic All-GLVC honoree during her playing career with the Eagles.

USI's staff also consisted of volunteer pitching coach Brooke Harmening, who was an All-GLVC hurler for the Eagles from 2012-15.

Other USI coaches to earn national coach/staff of the year recognition includes baseball's Tracy Archuleta (2010, 2014) and men's basketball's Bruce Pearl (1995).

Courtesy: USI Athletics