LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The hardware continues to collect for the Augustana softball program. On Wednesday, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named the Viking coaches the National Coaching Staff of the Year. Augustana head coach Gretta Melsted is joined by assistant coaches Nat Wagner and Kelsey Thompson.
The national honor marks the first in the career for all three coaches. Earlier this month, the Viking coaches were named the NFCA Central Region staff of the year.
The coaching trio helped the Vikings tie the school-record with 61 wins as well as shatter nine single-season program records. Throughout 2019, Augustana established new marks for runs (491), hits (699), doubles (129), HR (94), RBI (458), total bases (1155), stolen bases (131), and slugging percentage (.576).
The Viking pitching staff was equally impressive, finishing top-10 in numerous single-season categories including wins (61), innings pitching (464.0), strikeouts (417), and opponent batting average (.197).
Earlier this season, coach Melsted also claimed her 500th career win at Augustana and 600th overall victory. In 16 years as a head coach, Melsted has a career record of 609-312 (.661).
Following an NSIC Tournament title, coach Melsted and staff led the Vikings to a 10-2 record in the NCAA postseason. Augustana knocked off No. 2 Winona State in regionals and No. 1 Central Oklahoma in super regionals, both on the road, to reach the program's fifth NCAA Division II Softball Championship.
With a pair of 6-4 wins over Texas A&M Kingsville in the championship series, the Vikings secured the programs second-ever national championship (1991).