KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jessica Pistole has been named 2019 NAIA Softball National Coach of the Year, announced today by the NAIA national office. Pistole led the Raiders to the program’s first-ever national title after defeating Oklahoma City 8-3 on May 29th in Springfield, Mo.
The Raiders set a program wins record for the third consecutive season, finishing the 2019 season 52-8. This season the team was named Cascade Conference regular-season and tournament champions, 2019 Softball World Series Champions and earned their first-ever No. 1 ranking in the post-season Top 25 Poll.
Pistole completed her fifth season at Southern Oregon. The season prior to Pistole taking the reins, SOU went 15-23. Under her direction the Raiders have gone 219-82 in five seasons, highlighted by a 149-38 record over the last three years. Southern Oregon has appeared in three NAIA World Series, but 2019 marks the first championship appearance.
"This season has been a special one for us. It has been rewarding to set new goals each year and to put in the work to give ourselves a chance to reach them. Countless players and coaches have put their heart and soul into this program to build it into what it has become. This team embraced that tradition and those expectations and believed in themselves and each other when it counted most," said Pistole.
Southern Oregon ranks in the top ten nationally in 15 different categories. Including No. 2 in total hits (616) and No. 3 in total runs (422) and total triples (30). Southern Oregon had four members of the All-World Series Team and the 2019 Softball World Series most valuable player, Lauren Quirke. The Raiders had three All-America status individuals including pitcher, Gabby Sandoval; catcher, Allie Stines; and infielder, Lauren Quirke.
This is the first NAIA national honor for Pistole.