NORMAN, Okla. – For the eighth time in program history, the Oklahoma softball team boasts the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Regional Coaching Staff of the Year, the NFCA announced Wednesday.
Head coach Patty Gasso, associate head coach Melyssa Lombardi, assistant coach Tripp MacKay, volunteer coach Whitney Cloer and director of operations Sharon Carter took home the honor after guiding the Sooners to a 51-13 record, the team’s 11th Big 12 title and ninth appearance in the Women’s College World Series.
Oklahoma has now been named the Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year three seasons in a row, including last season’s honor of National Staff of the Year.
The Sooners became the first team in conference history to win three straight Big 12 championships when they went 16-2 this season to win the title by two games. As a result, Gasso was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year for the third year in a row and seventh time overall.
For the 10th straight season, Oklahoma had a pair of All-Americans as juniors Shelby Pendley and Lauren Chamberlain were recognized by the NFCA. Pendley became a two-time All-American as she was placed on the first team for the first time in her career. Chamberlain earned her third career All-America honors as she was selected for the third team.
A school record eight Sooners were named to the 2014 NFCA All-Central Region Team, including four first-team honorees. The previous OU record of six was set in 2005 and matched in both 2007 and 2013.
Chamberlain, Pendley and Georgia Casey were joined by sophomore Kady Self on the All-Region First Team. Senior Brittany Williams earned second-team honors along with sophomores Whitney Ellis and Kelsey Stevens, while senior Destinee Martinez was placed on the third team.
A 2012 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee, Gasso just completed her 20th season at the helm of the OU program. She owns a career collegiate coaching record of 1140-355-3 (.762) with an overall mark of 979-296-2 (.767) at Oklahoma. Gasso has won more Big 12 games (259-81) than any coach in the league's history and has twice as many wins as any other coach in OU history.