The Liberty softball coaching staff (L-R: Assistant Coach Kasey Fagan, Head Coach Dot Richardson, Assistant Coach Paige Cassady and Volunteer Assistant Coach John Cassady) was named NFCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
Offical NFCA Release Liberty Softball Head Coach Dot Richardson and her staff have been named the 2018 NFCA Division I Mid-Atlantic Regional Coaching Staff of the Year, as announced today by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
A total of 11 staffs, representing the 10 NFCA Regions (Great Lakes had a tie), were named Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year. These 11, in addition to national champion Florida State, remain in the running for National Coaching Staff of the Year, which will be announced on June 27.
Richardson's coaching staff, which also includes assistant coaches Paige Cassady and Kasey Fagan, along with volunteer assistant coach John Cassady, led the Lady Flames to an historic season that included many program firsts. This is the first time in program history that Liberty has been named NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
Richardson was named Big South Softball Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, guiding Liberty to a 49-14 overall record, including 18-3 in Big South play. The Lady Flames swept through the Big South Softball Championship, winning their third conference tournament title.
Liberty then made a splash in the NCAA Columbia Regional, winning its first two games (2-0 in 10 innings over No. 24/24 Hofstra, 3-1 over No. 11/10 South Carolina) before falling twice to South Carolina in the Regional Final. Liberty's win over Hofstra was the first NCAA Regional game win in program history, and first win over a nationally-ranked team since 2007. The Lady Flames also qualified for the NCAA Regional Final for the first time, and became the first Big South team to defeat a Regional host.
During the final USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll, Liberty was listed among others receiving votes, as their 17 votes were the most received in a single poll in program history.
The Lady Flames set or tied 11 program records, and their program-record 19-game winning streak was the longest active Division I softball winning streak in the nation before it was snapped in the Regional Final against South Carolina. Their school-record 49 wins tied for the seventh most in NCAA Division I softball this season. They have posted back-to-back 40-win seasons for the first time in program history. Liberty's 95 combined wins from 2017 and 2018 are tied for the ninth most of any Division I softball program over that span.
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