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Dr. Patrick Schloss congratulates Valdosta State softball coach Thomas Macera.

STARKVILLE, Miss. — After leading Valdosta State to the NCAA Division II National Championship softball game, head coach Thomas Macera, assistant coach Ashley Mayhue and graduate assistant Kristina Ely were named the South Region’s coaching staff of the year by the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association.

 The trio helped the Lady Blazers to a 51-9 record in the 2010 season, a season in which VSU spent most of it ranked among the top five teams in the country, and going as high as second.

 As Gulf South Conference champions, Valdosta State provided fans with some of the most exciting postseason play in some time. After winning both the regional and super regional tournaments coming out of the loser’s bracket, VSU went on to dominate at the NCAA Division II National Tournament, starting 3-0. Then the Lady Blazers lost to Hawaii Pacific in their first ever national championship game appearance.

 Macera earned his 200th victory at VSU in 2010, while he and his staff coached catcher Alyssa Shirey to an All-American season. In addition, Shirey was named the GSC East player of the year.

Freshman Morgan Johnson took home the freshman of the year award, while Holly Satterfield was named the GSC East pitcher of the year. Eight Lady Blazers were named to the All-GSC East team, and five were named All-Region.

VSU only loses seniors Stephanie Carlson and Shirey from its stellar 2010 season, but the duo provided 29 home runs and 113 RBIs in their senior seasons. They return their entire pitching staff as well as top returning hitter Marti Littlefield in 2011.

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