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Tuesday, January 26

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2020: In Memoriam

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In memory of those we lost in 2020…

Tim Ellis, umpire
     Ellis umpired collegiately and internationally for several years, including at the World Cup of Softball, among other events. He succumbed to cancer in January after a battle with the disease.

Gary Torgeson, former Cal State Northridge coach
     Torgeson led the CSUN program for thirteen years in the 1980s and 90s, and led the Matadors to four Division II national championships. The team also finished as national runners-up three times.

Kim Schultze, South Carolina alum
     Schultze was part of the 1997 Gamecocks squad that reached the Women’s College World Series and also helped the team win the SEC tournament in 2000. She batted .243 in her career.

Diane Hobin, former Stony Brook coach and Hofstra Hall of Famer
     A three-sport athlete at Hofstra, Hobin was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. She went on to spend four years as the head coach at Stony Brook, guiding the program through their first years at Division I.

Alyssia Palomino, Auburn alum
     Palomino began her playing career at Auburn in 2011, later playing at Cypress Community College and Point University. She worked in the special education department at a school in Birmingham at the time of her death.

Larry Caudillo, former San Diego coach
     San Diego’s first-ever Division I softball coach, Caudillo guided the program in their first years at the D1 level. He posted 211 wins during his 8-year tenure, and is the 2nd-winningest coach in program history.

Jacie Stephens Cochran, Emporia State alum
     Cochran passed away in July shortly after giving birth to her first child. A 2017 graduate of Emporia State, Cochran played in 217 games and earned all-conference honors twice during her playing career.

Micky Gehringer, Omaha alum and Hall of Famer
     Gehringer played for the Mavericks from 1972-76, set multiple program records, helped lead the team to the AIAW World Series championship in 1975, and was inducted into the Omaha Hall of Fame in 1990.

Briana Carrera, James Madison alum
     Carrera graduated from James Madison in 2006 and battled lupus for fifteen years. She threw the first-ever no-hitter in Dukes program history, and set the JMU program record with 289 career strikeouts.

Frank Cheek, former Humboldt State coach
     Cheek coached the Lumberjack program for 25 years and led the program to Division II national titles in 1999 and 2008. He earned more than 1,100 career wins and was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 2009.

Brian Boulac, former Notre Dame coach
     Boulac began his Fighting Irish as a football player in the 1950s and 60s, and became the first-ever coach in Irish softball history in 1989. He spent four years with the program, earning Coach of the Year honors in 1992.

Lexi White, UT-Dallas alum
     White bravely battled brain cancer and passed away at age 20 in May. She pitched and hit as a freshman at UTD, and later assisted the team’s coaching staff as a student-assistant.

Sheryl Neff, former Barton College coach
      Neff began her coaching career at the University of Findlay, and later spent more than two decades leading the Barton College program. She passed away in September.

Katie Eckelberry, Gannon alum
     An All-American Scholar Athlete during her playing career and a former collegiate coach, Eckelberry passed away in February from injuries suffered in a car accident in Pittsburgh.

Evelyn Andrews, Humboldt State player
     Andrews passed away in February following her second battle with cancer. She was an NFCA Scholar-Athlete in 2019, and continued to play softball despite her diagnosis and treatments.

Don Porter, former ISF President
     Porter spent nearly three decades as the President of the International Softball Federation, was Co-President of the WBSC, and played a key role in the game’s inclusion in the 1996 Olympic Games. He also spent three decades as the executive director of the Amateur Softball Association in Oklahoma City.

Chuck Fortenberry, Sandra Simmons’ grandfather
     Chuck and his wife Linda were the darlings of the 2016 postseason, as they followed Simmons and the LSU Tigers across the country in their RV. Natives of Arizona, Simmons’ grandparents missed only a handful of games in their granddaughter’s entire 4-year career in Baton Rouge.

Marilyn Bogle, benefactor & namesake of Arkansas’ Bogle Park
     Marilyn and Bob Bogle, longtime benefactors of the Razorbacks’ program, saw the Hogs’ softball stadium dedicated as Bogle Park in 2008 following the couple’s tremendous support of the program.

Dan Burns, former Lincoln Memorial coach
     Burns spent eighteen years leading the Railsplitters softball program, collecting 536 wins and recording ten conference tournament appearances. An LMU alum, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of fame in 2001.

Mark Lumley, former Baylor coach
     Through four battles with cancer, Lumley battled incredibly and even continued coaching the Baylor team during much of that same time. He succumbed to the disease two days after Christmas.

Megan Smith, UAB alum
     Smith graduated from UAB in 2018, and unexpectedly passed away earlier this month. She worked as a nurse and earned all-conference freshman honors as a rookie in 2015.

Bob Stanclift, former Kansas coach and Hall of Famer
     The all-time winningest coach in Kansas program history, Stanclift led the Jayhawks for eleven seasons from 1976-87. He led the program to the AIAW World Series twice, and was inducted into the KU Hall of Fame in 2000. He most recently served as volunteer assistant at Wingate, where his daughter Jamie is head coach.

 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: To contribute a name that should be included on this list of memorials, please email [email protected])

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