Pistole Collects Third NAIA Softball Coach of the Year Honor
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that Jessica Pistole of Southern Oregon has been named the 2022-23 NAIA Softball Coach of the Year. This is the third time in her career to earn the distinction.
Pistole guided the Raiders to their third NAIA Red Banner in team history, and third as the head coach. The team has now won three of the last four World Series’ played, cementing the Southern Oregon coach’s legacy in NAIA Softball.
The Raiders concluded their season as one of the hottest in the nation and won their last eight consecutive games to wrap-up play. After suffering what would become its last loss of the season on day one of the 2023 NAIA National Championship Opening Round to Vanguard (Calif.), Southern Oregon outscored opponents 66-10 in that final eight-game span, including two, double-digit shutouts in World Series play.
In the 2023 NAIA Spring Classic, Pistole guided her team to impressive numbers, hitting .396 in the series and topped nearly every offensive category in World Series play. The team batting average set a new NAIA World Series record, besting a 28-year-old mark set by Mobile (Ala.) in 1995.
Southern Oregon finished the season 50-12 and finished No. 1 in the nation in several offensive categories including runs (490), hits (650), RBI (426) and total bases (935). Riley Donovan was a big piece to the puzzle yet again. The senior ended her career a .491 hitter in 2023 (No. 2 in the NAIA) and topped the NAIA with 94 RBI and 23 home runs.
The NAIA Softball National Coach of the Year is selected through an election process following the annual World Series involving all NAIA Softball Coaches. All conference, Continental Athletic Conference and unaffiliated group coaches of the year as well as the World Series quarterfinalists are included on the ballot.