JAGUAR SOFTBALL’S MCCAIN PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH

MOBILE, Ala. – University of South Alabama softball head coach Becky Clark announced on Friday that Kristiana McCain has been promoted to associate head coach.

“I would like to thank Coach Clark and the entire administration at South Alabama for allowing me this opportunity,” McCain said. “Coach Clark gave me a chance to be a part of an amazing program 12 years ago and I never knew I would have an opportunity to be in this position as associate head coach.  It is an absolute honor to be recognized for this and I am truly thankful.  The success we have achieved is a direct reflection of Coach Clark’s leadership, amazing players and the phenomenal people that I am able to work with on a daily basis.  I’m excited to see what the future holds for South Alabama softball.”

This past spring, the Jags finished with 31 wins, including 13 Sun Belt victories, while finishing second at the conference tournament and making the program’s first NCAA Regional appearance since 2015 – the program’s fifth postseason appearance. The 31 wins were the most for the program since the 2017 season (35).

“I’m blessed to have a tremendous staff and Coach McCain has been a major cornerstone of that group for the past 12 years,” Clark said. “Her overall knowledge of the game combined with her work ethic and loyalty to the program make her an invaluable asset to the program as a whole. People don’t see the countless hours put in behind the scenes watching video, creating scouting reports, recruiting, running camps, and that’s not even mentioning practice and games. On top of that, she was a tough competitor as a player and brings that same mentality to her job every day. I am grateful for the work she puts in and the pride she takes in South Alabama softball.”

McCain – who has been a member of the Jaguar coaching staff since 2010 – oversees both the hitter and slapper development, as well as infield defense.  She also assists Clark in all phases of game-day strategy, player development and scouting, and oversees game-day filming.  McCain also oversees both official and unofficial recruiting visits, as well as camp coordination.

Meredith Keel became the 10th position player to earn NFCA al-region honors after the junior third baseman ranked 10th in the SBC in hits (54). Kamdyn Kvistad also tied for fourth in the SBC in home runs (11) and tied the program’s career home run as she hit her 28th versus Texas State in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Championships.

During her time in Mobile, South Alabama has posted an overall record of 383-228 (.627) – including a 154 Sun Belt victories – three SBC Championships and five NCAA tournament appearances.

Since moving into her full-time role in 2011, South Alabama has ranked either second or third in the conference in batting average on four occasions.  USA ranked second in the Sun Belt in that category during the 2015 season, and were also second in the league in on-base percentage that same season.

Under McCain, South Alabama has led the Sun Belt in triples (2016, 2014, 2011), doubles (2013, 2012), hit-by-pitch (2014, 2013) and sac bunts (2013, 2012).

During her tenure at South Alabama, has also had total of 33 position players earn all-Sun Belt accolades during her 10 previous seasons with the program with 15 garnering first-team honors and 18 taking home second-team honors.  South has also had 17 SBC player of the week selections during McCain’s time with the program.

In 2019, the Jaguars posted some impressive offensive numbers under McCain’s tutelage as the club nearly tied the single-season mark for doubles, recording 76 and finishing one shy of the mark set by the 2012 squad. South also saw a power surge in its line up ending the season with 53 home runs, second-most in a season at USA. 

Emily Messer was selected as the 31st overall pick in the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch Draft by the Akron Racers – the first Jaguar position player to be drafted. Messer (.429) and Todd (.415) ranked second and third, respectively, in batting average in the league, and their averages set new single-season best at USA. The duo were the first Jag hitters since Tara Donaldson (.401) in 2007 to hit above .400 in a season.  Messer also ranked in the top 30 nationally in that category, while Todd was 53rd.

During the 2015 season, Kaitlyn Griffith became the program’s single-season home run leader as she recorded 13.  

McCain was also part of the Jaguar coaching staff which was selected as the NFCA Coaching Staff of the Year during the 2013 season.

McCain joined the program after two seasons coaching both Mortimer Jordan (Ala.) High School and the Birmingham Vipers.  While at Mortimer Jordan, McCain helped lead the team to the 2009 Alabama class 5A state championship and a 2010 5A runner-up finish.  

McCain also spent time as an assistant coach for the Birmingham Vipers club team, where she helped lead the 16-and-under team to a 13th-place finish at nationals and the 18-and-under team to a seventh-place finish.

The Birmingham, Ala., native graduated from Gardendale High School before attending Auburn University, where she lettered three years and received a freshman all-Southeastern Conference nod in 2004 and second-team all-SEC and all-South Region honors in 2006.
    
McCain finished amongst Auburn’s top 10 all-time in seven statistical career categories, including batting average (.323), slugging percentage (.457), on-base percentage (.440), hit-by-pitches (14), runs scored (129), hits (163) and stolen bases (30).  She also finished in the top 10 of five single-season categories – batting average, on-base percentage, stolen bases, walks, and runs.

For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at www.twitter.com/WeAreSouth_JAGS. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).

Join the Bullpen Club, the softball specific support club of the Jaguar Athletic Fund.  Members have access to purchase parking passes and receive Jaguar Softball gear.  All donations to the Bullpen Club go directly to support the South Alabama softball program.  For more information on how you can join visit:  jaguarathleticfund.com/bullpenclub.

—USA—
 

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