Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Taylor Rahach Transfers to Pittsburgh

Former Coastal Carolina pitcher Taylor Rahach has transferred to Pittsburgh to finish out her career.

Rahach, who pitched as a sophomore in 2017, will have two years of eligibility remaining upon her arrival in Pittsburgh. Sources indicated that Rahach will be immediately eligible to play for the Panthers, but the school did not immediately confirm that.

In 2017, Rahach collected a 2.80 ERA in more than 137 innings of work. She struck out 119 and opponents hit .249 against her. She allowed fewer than one hit per inning and gave up fifty-five earned runs through the course of the year.

She joins a pitching staff at Pittsburgh that assembled a 4.11 team cumulative ERA in 2017 and finished the season with a 24-23 record. The Panthers will return all three members of their pitching staff from this past season, including ERA leader Kayla Harris and Brittany Knight, who led the program in innings pitched.

Bryant Adds Chiusano, French to Coaching Staff

Shayne Lotito has completely redone her coaching staff at Bryant, adding Nick French and Bri Chiusano to her staff.

French was most recently an assistant at Towson and was previously a volunteer assistant on Lu Harris-Champer’s WCWS-bound 2016 Georgia squad. His resume also includes stops at Arizona, Memphis, and Holy Cross, as well as a head coaching stint at Simmons college in 2008.

Chiusano, a Coastal Carolina alum, served as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater in 2017. As a player, she set a program and Big South conference record for runs scored with 208 and ended her career with a .380 batting average, 269 hits, and 145 stolen bases. Her career stolen base tally ranks second all-time in the Big South.

French and Chiusano join a Bryant program that finished the 2017 season with a 12-36 record and a 7-9 mark in conference play. The win-loss record matched the program's 2016 mark, though in 2014, the Bulldogs finished the season 32-22 and were selected to the Norman, Oklahoma regional of the NCAA tournament.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stanford Hires Allister as Head Coach

Graphic via Stanford Athletics

Stanford has hired alumnus Jessica Allister to be the program's new head coach.

Allister, who most recently was head coach at Minnesota and led the Golden Gophers to the 2017 Big 10 regular season and tournament championships, is a Stanford alum. She played for the Cardinal from 2001-2004 and earned all-American honors in her senior season as a catcher. During her time as a student-athlete with the Cardinal, Allister's squad twice appeared in the Women's College World Series.

At Minnesota, Allister was responsible for leading the Golden Gophers to the top of the Big 10 conference. Under her watch, the Gophers finished the 2017 season 56-5 and won the regular-season championship, as well as the conference tournament title. The program was, at one point, ranked #1 in the nation, but the Gophers were eliminated in the regional round of the NCAA tournament after controversially failing to earn a hosting bid as a top-16 seeded team.

Allister owns a career 290-107 win-loss record, a .730 winning percentage over seven seasons, all at Minnesota.

Prior to her hiring to lead the Golden Gophers, Allister was an assistant coach at Georgia and Oregon, as well as a three-year stint at Stanford from 2007 to 2009. Each school reached the postseason during Allister's time with the club.

Allister's resume also includes a two-year stint as a player in the National Pro Fastpitch league as a member of the New England Riptide, where she played from 2004-05.

At Stanford, Allister replaces Rachel Hanson who resigned last week to accept a position at a St. Louis-based non-profit. The Cardinal finished 19-32 in 2017 and ended the year in last place in the PAC-12 standings for the third consecutive season.

Oakland Hires Lauren Cognigni as Head Coach

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies have a new head softball coach.

Former Pittsburgh assistant Lauren Cognigni has been named to lead the Golden Grizzlies. She joins the program after three seasons at Pitt, during which time she helped guide the Panther pitching staff through the first NCAA tournament appearance in program history.

Under her tutelage, the Pitt pitchers averaged a 4.01 cumulative ERA during her tenure with the Panthers, including Brittany Knight and Kayla Harris, who combined for 170 innings of work last season and assembled a 4.09 ERA between them with 127 strikeouts.

Prior to Pitt, Cognigni served as an assistant at Delaware for three years and Marist for four, as well as at Saint Joseph’s, her alma mater, in 2008 and 2009.

As a player, Cognigni made her mark in the circle for St. Joseph’s, as she ended her career with a program all-time record 534 strikeouts. She played for the Hawks from 2005-08.

At Oakland, Cognigni takes over a program that posted a 20-26 record in 2017, including a 13-12 mark in conference play. The Golden Grizzlies assembled eighty-three wins over the past five seasons, a time frame that included an NCAA tournament appearance and conference title in 2015.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Scrap Yard Dawgs Sign Kasey Cooper

Former Auburn Tigers star Kasey Cooper has signed a two-year contract with the Scrap Yard Dawgs of the National Pro Fastpitch league.

After going undrafted in the NPF draft in the spring, Cooper’s contract will extend through the remainder of the 2017 season and for the 2018 campaign.

In her first at-bat for the team on Sunday night, Cooper hit a walk-off single that clinched the victory over the Chicago Bandits.

A member of Team USA, Cooper was named an alternate for the fifteen-member National Team roster for the upcoming Pan Am Games.

While at Auburn, Cooper earned her way onto the all-SEC team all four years of her collegiate career and earned three all-American honors, including first-team honors in 2015 and 2016. She ended her college career with sixty-seven home runs and 270 RBI, the latter an SEC all-time record.

On the Dawgs roster, she joins a club that boasts incredible infield depth, with ten other infielders on the roster. Arizona great Katiyana Mauga is another primary third baseman and power hitter on the team’s roster.

She joins three fellow Tiger alumni on rosters across the NPF league, including Emily Carosone, Haley Fagan, and Angel Bunner. Former Auburn first baseman Jade Rhodes was recently released from the Dawgs.

Beitia Named Head Coach at Eastern Florida

Former Tennessee head coach and Auburn staff member Jim Beitia has been named head coach of Eastern Florida State College in Brevard County, Florida.
Beitia most recently served as the Director of Operations on Clint Myers’ staff at Auburn, where was part of the staff that led the Tigers to back-to-back conference tournament championships in 2015 and 2016, as well as a Women’s College World Series runner-up trophy in 2016.

The Cal State Sacramento alum was the first-ever head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols softball program, serving as coach of the program from 1994-2001 and gathering 233 career wins.

During his career, Beitia has also served as head coach at Oklahoma and as an assistant at Arizona State and for the Spanish National team.

Beitia’s resume also includes time spent in the NPF league in a variety of positions, including director of player development, general manager, and on-field assistant coach.

East Florida State College is a two-year junior college with approximately 25,000 students. The school sponsors ten sports, softball among them.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Colgate Head Coach Melissa Finley Resigns

Colgate head coach Melissa Finley has resigned from her post.
According to a school media release, Finley stepped down in order to accept a similar position at Swarthmore College, a Division III school in the Centennial Conference.

Finley had been at Colgate for five years, amassing a 71-142-1 record during her tenure, including a 33-59 mark in Patriot League conference play.

Prior to Colgate, Finley's coaching resume includes a four-year stint as an assistant at Penn. She was a member of the Canadian National Team staff this summer.

As a player, Finley four times earned all-Ivy League distinction at Princeton and was the program's career home run leader at her career's end. She also played for the Canadian National team.