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SOU's Jessica Pistole, NAIA Softball Coach of the Year

Pistole honored as NAIA Coach of the Year

Southern Oregon University softball coach Jessica Pistole, who guided her team last month to SOU’s first-ever national championship in a women’s sport, was the NAIA Softball Coach of the Year on Wednesday.

The fifth-year head coach has led the Raiders to three consecutive NAIA World Series appearances. This year’s team made it through the winners bracket of the double-elimination tournament unbeaten, then had two chances to beat longtime powerhouse Oklahoma City, which came out of the loser’s bracket needing a two-game sweep.

Oklahoma City won the first game before the Raiders won the World Series with an 8-3 win in an elimination game for both teams.

SOU went 15-23 the season before Pistole became head coach and has gone 219-82 in the five seasons since, including a 149-38 mark over the last three years.

Pistole and her assistant coaches – Duane PardueCheyenne Bricker, Mike Mayben and Harlee Donovan – last week were named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year.

The program has also won three consecutive Cascade Conference regular-season titles and three consecutive conference tournament titles, and has set program records for wins in each of the last three seasons.

The Raiders have earned NAIA Scholar Team honors each season under Pistole.

The coach, originally from Loomis, California, was named the CCC Coach of the Year for the third time this season.

Her team finished this season with a 52-8 record and its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the final NAIA Top 25 poll.

The Raiders ranked sixth nationally in hits per game (10.3), seventh in team batting average (.360) and runs (7.0), and 16th in earned-run average (2.08).They also committed fewer than half as many fielding errors (58) as their opponents (118).

This story is based on an earlier version at souraiders.com

SOU's World Series champions raise their trophies

Parade to celebrate SOU’s NAIA World Series champions

SOU students and employees are encouraged to build time into their schedules, if practical, to attend today’s parade and celebration of the university’s national champion softball team. The Raiders won the NAIA World Series title last Wednesday in Springfield, Missouri.

Today’s parade will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Mountain Street near the SOU Plunkett Center. It will proceed along Siskiyou Boulevard and down Wightman Street to the Lithia Motors Pavilion for a trophy presentation and celebration of the team’s accomplishments.

Students, employees, alumni and other fans are asked to view the parade from the lawn and sidewalk along Siskiyou Boulevard between the Stevenson Union and Churchill Hall. Softball team members, SOU President Linda Schott, the university’s Raider Band and others are expected to participate.

Employees who are interested in attending the festivities should coordinate with their supervisors to confirm attendance on work time.

The softball team’s victory in Wednesday night’s winner-take-all game against Oklahoma City in Springfield, Missouri, resulted in SOU’s first-ever national title in a women’s sport.

The Raiders made it through the World Series winner’s bracket unbeaten, then had two chances to defeat Oklahoma City – which emerged from the loser’s bracket in the double-elimination tournament. Oklahoma City won the first game of the two-game set with SOU on Wednesday morning.

SOU is just the second Cascade Conference member to win the NAIA World Series since it began in 1981. The team finished 52-8, setting an SOU wins record for the third consecutive season under fifth-year head coach Jessica Pistole.